Whew!! Finals finally over, moving out finally over…….and now, back in the good ole STL. I have basically been bumming around at home, which is strange after the hecticness of end of semester. Of course, the first thing I wanted to do when I got home was… bake! Ah, to be reunited with my lovely kitchen full of supplies and ingredients. I haven’t participated in a Sugar High Friday (created by The Domestic Goddess) in quite some time, since the days of my old blog I used to own, but now that I’m home and baking-able again with a new food blog going, I wanted to jump right in!
For this edition of Sugar High Fridays hosted by Tartelette, I was a little concerned because citrus is not my family’s favorite flavor, with the tartness of lemon items not truly appreciated. However, I had been eyeing the recipe for Lavender Lemon Pound Cake from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming, and it seemed like such a wonderful springy, homey cake, and I bought dried lavender a long time ago and never gotten around to using it (this happens for many other ingredients besides lavender……), so I decided it was perfect for this event. Plus, I am a little late for doing something for my mom for mother’s day, and this cake seems incredibly mother-y for some reason…
I ended up not going with the recipe from The Last Course though… because for Chowhound.com, the dessert cookbook of the month is Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert/Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts (I love Alice Medrich! I have made many things from Bittersweet and Art of Low-Fat Desserts, all of which have turned out great. Can’t wait to make things from Pure Dessert!), and I wanted to knock two out with one baked good, so I took her Cranberry Pecan Cake recipe from Lowfat Desserts and adapted it with Lavender Lemon flavors for the ultimate in a fresh and springy cake with the ability to feel somewhat healthy when eating it for breakfast. I even used a new Earth Balance 50/50 butter/vegetable oil blend stick, which said it was “great for baking!” so I put it to the test. I also used lemon oil instead of zest because we don’t keep lemons around in our home and it’s a lot less effort than going out to buy lemons and zesting them and what not.
The cake turned out quite nicely, especially with the glaze on top. I figured out the reason why I love glazes like that on top of baked goods is because it reminds me of biting into a glazed donut, mmm. I think I may have overmixed it a bit so it was a tad on the dry side…but the flavors I was really pleased with, and my mother loved it as well!! To have my non-lemon loving mother love this cake was pretty much the stamp of approval for this recipe.
Lavender Lemon Pound Cake
Adapted from “Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts”
Alice Medrich had some crazy mixing instructions, that I don’t think really improved the texture, and perhaps might have led me to confusion and overbeating the batter anyway… Also, her recipe originally called for an 8-cup tube pan, so feel free to use that as well.
2 cups cake flour (8 oz)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 whole egg
1 egg white
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon oil
2 tbsp dried lavender
1 cup sugar
1 cup nonfat yogurt
6 tbsp powdered sugar
3 tbsp water
1/4 tsp lemon oil
1. Have all ingredients at room temperature, preheat oven to 350ºF, line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the whole egg and egg white together. Set aside.
3. Beat butter for about 1 minute with the lavender (I didn’t actually do this, but realized I should have afterwards). Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat on high for about 3 minutes. Dribble eggs in slowly, about 1 tbsp at a time, beating constantly for about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in a third of the flour mixture. Then add half of the yogurt, and then beat in half of the remaining flour. Last, add the rest of the yogurt, the vanilla, and lemon oil, and beat in the rest of the flour.
4. Scrape into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10-15 min on a rack. Meanwhile, whisk powdered sugar, water, and lemon oil together to form a glaze. Unmold the cake, brush the glaze over the top and sides until all glaze is used. Cool, or serve warm, it is good that way too!