Make it. Eat it. Love it.
A friend of mine asked me to send her some lavender from Israel and as I was at the shuk buying a big bag of it I decided to get some for myself as well. I never baked with lavender before as I tend to think baked goods with flower undertones taste like soap. And, so, the bag of lavender sat in my cabinet wasting away but in the least made everything smell beautiful.
Spring is here and the weather is getting very warm in Be’er Sheva. Trees are blooming with beautiful purple flowers and my pomegranate tree and passion fruit vines have started to blossom.It’s that time to turn from heavier meals and desserts to light salads, citrusy sweets and late afternoon teas. Maybe it’s the season but I had an urge to finally use some of that lavender.
Chiffon cake is probably the most moist, light and fluffy cake out there. I imagine it’s how a big fluffy sweet cloud would taste. Its light and airy texture just embodies spring. Lemon chiffon cake is my favorite and since I read that lavender and citrus work wonderfully together, I knew I had my use for lavender.
I strayed from the normal chiffon cake by halving it and spreading a lavender infused honey lemon whipped cream in the middle. The result is a delicate lemony cake with a hint of lavender (that doesn’t taste like soap!). Perfect.
To get that perfect chiffon cake texture make sure to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, but NOT DRY. When folding the egg whites into the batter, fold gently and do not over mix. Over mixing will result in a cake that doesn’t rise properly.
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
8 eggs, separated
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
3 Tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender, plus more for garnish
Powdered sugar for dusting
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 Tablespoon dried lavender
To make cake:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into large bowl.
With an electric mixer beat the vegetable oil, egg yolks, lemon juice, water and lemon peel in the flour mixture.
In another large bowl combine egg whites and cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form but not dry.
Fold 1/4 of whites into batter, and gently fold in remaining whites in batches. Do not overmix.
Pour cake batter into ungreased 10-inch spring form pan.
Tap pan on countertop to release air bubbles.
Bake cake until is golden and springy to the touch, about 1 hour.
Run a knife around the edges of the cake and release from pan.
To make the whipped cream:
Heat 1/2 cup of cream and the lavender in a pot over medium heat for about 30 min.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve and allow cream to cool.
In a large bowl combine cooled lavender cream with remaining 1/2 cup cream, honey and lemon juice.
Using an electric beater, beat until light and fluffy.
To assemble cake:
Cut cake horizontally into 2 equal slices.
Spread whipped cream over bottom half and place top haf (cut side down) on top of whipped cream.
Dust cake with powdered sugar and dried lavender.