Lavender Cake

It’s one I have done before, as you can see on my pictorial frieze above…. I thought at the time it would be hit or miss, an acquired taste, but no, half of it went in one sitting…. No different 2 years later!

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Ingredients:

  • 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • ½ tbsp dried culinary lavender, roughly chopped (double if fresh)

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  • 30ml milk
  • ¼tsp lavender extract

 

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4 and lightly grease a 8″/20cm round cake tin
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy
  • Add the eggs, one at a time , between well in between, and don’t worry if it looks curdled

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  • Add the sifted soda and flour to the mixture

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  • Fold in by hand with the lavender, dried and extract, and the milk

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  • Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the top level

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  • Bake for 50mn to an hour, until a skewer comes out clean and golden
  • Leave to cool for 5mn before turning out on to a wire rack to go cold

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For the topping: some icing sugar mixed with a little milk and a tiny amound of purple food colourant

 

 

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Kaki (Persimmon) & Cinnamon Crumble Cake

Kaki fruits are in full season and can be of an acquired taste. They are delicious on their own, eaten as an apple, or transformed into a very tasty cake as you will soon discover!

 

 

Ingredients:

Kaki filling:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 45g dark brown sugar
  • 4 Kakis peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh if you can (unlike me!)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 60ml water

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For the batter:

  • 110g soft butter
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 525g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 375ml buttermilk (if unavailable, make your own adding 3 tsp white wine vinegar to skimmed or semi milk)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon extract

For the crumbs topping:

  • 55g butter
  • 75g flour
  • 75g light brown or vanilla sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground vanilla

Preparation:

  1. Fruit filling:
  • Melt the butter in a medium size pan and add the brown sugar
  • Add the chopped fruits and lemon juice and cook, stirring for 2 to 3mn
  • In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water
  • Add to the pan and cook a further 2mn until thick
  • Leave to cool down completely

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2. Cake batter:

  • Start by making up the buttermilk if you haven’t got any
  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and grease or line a 23cm/ 9″ round or square cake tin
  • In the mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy
  • Add one egg at a time, beating well each time

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  • In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon

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  • Add the dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk and cinnamon extract to the egg mixture and beat until well incorporated

3. Crumble:

  • In a mixing bowl (use the flour one and save on washing!) combine the butter, flour, sugar and ground vanilla using your fingers until you get fine crumbs

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4. Assembly:

  • Spread half of the batter in the prepared cake tin
  • cover with the fruit filling
  • Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter, as much apart as you can

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  • Sprinkle the crumble over evenly

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  • Bake in the oven for 50to 55mn, until golden brown and skewer comes out clean

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  • Leave to cool slightly and serve warm with custard or ice cream…. although cold the next day was just as nice! If it lasts that long…. 😉

 

 

Cardamom & Orange Cake with a Pine Nuts Streusel

I love the smell of cardamom, ground or pods, and I use it quite liberally in curries etc… but I’ve always fancied trying it in cakes… so here it is: it has a strong distinctive flavour and the orange comes through first

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Ingredients for the Streusel:

  • 70g plain flour
  • 60g pine nuts (¾ coarsely chopped)
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 pinch ground vanilla
  • 50g butter, softened

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ scant tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 tbsp finely grated orange zest
  • 120g melted and cooled butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 120ml milk
  • 110ml strong coffee, cooled
  • 1 tsp coffee extract
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Preparation for the streusel:

  • Toss all the ingredients except the butter in a large bowl with a wooden spoon
  • Add the butter and, using your fingers, mix together until you get a crumbly mixture, of different sizes. Set aside

Preparation for the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 200°C/180°fan/ Gas 5 and prepare a 20cm/ 8″ round cake tin. Place it on a baking tray
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ground cardamom and coffee powder
  • In a smaller bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingers until the sugar is well infused
  • Mix it in with the dry ingredients and blend well
  • Mix all the wet ingredients together in the smaller bowl and pour over the dry ingredients. Stir gently and only until the batter is evenly blended
  • Scrape the batter
  • into the prepared tin and top with an even layer of the streusel. Pat gently into the batter
  • Bake for about 40mn: the cake well risen, golden crumbs and clean skewer from the centre
  • Transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool

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