Oh, my, I’m so behind on posting recipes. The good news is, I have been doing some good cooking, though, and my arthritis and fibromyalgia have been not tooo terrible, so I’ve been having a pretty active life, as well (leaving me less time to hang out in front of the computer!).
This post really deserves to get online, though, as it’s from all the way back in July, and I know that a lot of people really enjoyed it. This was the second cake that I made for my own birthday! I usually have a yellow cake with chocolate frosting (this year, it was a lightly flavored Cardamom Lime Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting) for my birthday, but I also love, love, love the combination of lemon and lavender together. In fact, my favorite cupcake in probably the entire world is a seasonal cupcake from Sweet Avenue Bake Shop that has lemon filling and lavender icing. Don’t tell, but I’ve got one hoarded away in my freezer now that the season for them has past.
Anyway, lemon and lavender go together in an absolutely gorgeous way. Many people at my party were kind of like, “Huh? Lavender? You can eat that?” and yes, friends, you most certainly can. Bo wanted to put the lavender glaze in his coffee, and Kira wanted to have it made into an ice cream (this is something I am definitely considering). So, the glaze was no problem for me to come up with, but a chiffon cake… that I’d never really worked on before.
I based my recipe for the chiffon cake mostly off of a Betty Crocker recipe, only I (who can guess?) reduced the sugar and bumped up the lemon flavor. Chiffon cake is very light and airy, though, so I didn’t want to reduce the sugar too much for fear of losing the texture, and luckily, it came out just fine. Oh… and feel free to throw some cream of tartar in those egg whites like Betty does – I didn’t have any in the house.
I used little umbrellas to decorate this cake… it seems to have been a day for ridiculous decorations. I bought these at the party store where I also bought an amazingly awesome shark piñata. Mmmhmmm.
2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
7 egg yolks
8 egg whites
1/3 cup blueberries
1/4 cup dried lavender
3/4 cup milk
drop or two of red food coloring (if desired)
confectioners sugar to desired consistency
Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 325°F. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat in cold water, oil, vanilla, lemon zest and egg yolks until smooth.
In large bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. (I cannot believe how awesome this works out with my stand mixer!) Gradually pour egg yolk mixture over beaten egg whites, folding with rubber spatula just until blended. Pour into ungreased 10-inch angel food (tube) cake pan (I used a silicone bundt pan). Roll blueberries in flour and drop them into the batter.
Bake about 1 hour 15 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heatproof funnel or bottle. Let hang until completely cool, about 2 hours. Loosen side of cake with knife or long, metal spatula; remove from pan.
In a small saucepan, simmer milk and lavender until the lavender is infused in the milk. The milk should turn a purple or pink color and be very fragrant. Strain the lavender from the milk. In a small mixing bowl, add confectioners sugar a bit at a time until the glaze thickens to desired consistency. I left the glaze thin so that the lavender really came out and so that it could soak into the cake.