My garden is full of lavender at the moment. It was getting completely out of control and threatening to take over south east London. In my book, the best thing to do when your garden is out of control is to make a cake out of it. Unless your garden is full of poisonous plants of course, that would be very silly indeed.
Lavender and lemon go together like Joanie and Chachie. The lemon cake is fresh and zingy and the lavender icing has a subtle floral, almost minty, flavour. Plus it looks very pretty if you add a bit of purple food colouring.
If you don't have your own lavender plant, you can use dried culinary lavender - Steenbergs is particularly good. And if you don't fancy lavender at all (I know some people are very anti-flower eating) then just substitute the zest and juice of a lemon for the lavender milk and you'll have a Luscious Lemony Lemon Cake.
Luscious Lavender & Lemon Cake
For the cake
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 175g plain flour
- 3tsp baking powder
- 175g butter, melted
- Zest and juice of a lemon
- 35ml milk
- 1tbsp dried culinary lavender
- 100g butter
- 200g icing sugar
- Purple food colouring (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170c / Gas 4.
- Grease and line two 8 inch sandwich tins.
- Beat the sugar and eggs with an electric whisk for several minutes until they're pale.
- Sift in the flour and gently fold it in.
- Fold in the melted butter, lemon zest and juice.
- Divide the mixture between the two tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown and the tops spring back when pressed. Leave to cool.
- To make the icing, put the lavender into a bowl with the milk and heat in the microwave so it's hot but not boiling. Leave it to cool and infuse.
- Sieve the icing sugar into the butter and beat them together.
- Sieve the milk and add it to the icing. Beat it in along with the food colouring.
- Ice the cake once it's cool. Decorate with some lavender sprigs if you're feeling fancy.