Lemon Lavender Berry Cake

Culinary Lavender is an incredibly versatile herb for cooking.  In today’s  home kitchens, fresh edible flowers are making a comeback as enhancements to both the flavor and appearance of food. As a member of the  mint family  it  is also  closely related to rosemary, sage, and thyme.   It is best used with fennel, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and savory.

Lavender has been a favorite herb for centuries. The historic use and recognition of lavender is almost as old the history of man.  As an herb, lavender has been in documented use for over 2,500 years. In ancient times lavender was used for mummification and perfume by the Egyptian’s, Phoenicians, and peoples of Arabia.  The Greeks and the Romans bathed in lavender scented water and it was from the Latin word “lavo” meaning “to wash” that the herb took it’s name.  Perhaps first domesticated by the Arabians, lavender spread across Europe from Greece.  Around 600 BC lavender may have come from the Greek Hyeres Islands into France and is now common in France, Spain, Italy and England.

The ‘English’ lavender varieties were not locally developed in England but rather introduced in the 1600s right around the time the first lavender plants were making their way to the Americas. English Lavender (l. angustifolia and munstead) has the sweetest fragrance of all the lavenders and is the one most commonly used in cooking.  The uses of lavender are limited only by your imagination.  Culinary Lavender has a sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes.  The potency of the lavender flowers increases with drying.

Queen Elizabeth I of England valued lavender as a conserve and a perfume.  It has been said that she commanded that the royal table should never be without conserve of lavender and she issued orders to her gardeners that fresh lavender flowers should be available all year round!  She also drank an abundance of Lavender tea to help ease her migraines and used it as a body perfume. Queen Victoria of England is most notable for making Lavender popular across England and it could be found, in one form or another, in every one of her rooms, as she used it to wash floors and furniture, freshen the air, and had it strewn among the linens. During the First World War, nurses bathed soldiers’ wounds with lavender washes.  To this day, the French continue to send baby lamb to graze in fields of lavender, so their meat will be tender and fragrant.

But I digress……the subject at hand was desserts.

This lemon lavender berry cake is soooooo good. It is not too sweet, but just sweet and savory  enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. Sometimes, Bundt cakes can end up heavy, dry and tasteless. This one, I promise you, is neither of those things. Buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and plenty of butter make sure the cake remains light and airy and moist and full of flavor. The cake is perfect for tea time or even served for brunch on a Sunday morning.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 egg whites, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lavender extract (See Cook’s Notes)
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, optional

Confectioner’s sugar, for  dusting

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Using vegetable cooking spray, coat a 10 cup capacity Bundt cake pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Whisk until completely mixed.
In a standing mixer or with a hand held mixer and a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Whisk in eggs, egg whites, vanilla extract, and lavender extract on a high speed until combined, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.

On a low speed, whisk the flour mixture to the egg mixture until just combined.

Still on a low speed, pour in the buttermilk and lemon juice, mixing until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries and raspberries until just combined.

Pour batter evenly into the prepared. Gently tap the pan on the counter top to release any air bubbles. Place the cake in the oven. Bake for 30 -45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of each cake. Set on a wire rack to cool, at least one hour and remove from the cake pan

Dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar. Garnish with berries, if desired and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
If you are having trouble finding lavender extract in your area, do not fret. There is a relatively new product by Taylor & Colledge Lavender that manufactures lavender a paste, made from the finest Lavender (Lavandula angustifoila) grown in southern Australia. In January, flowers are harvested and distilled to capture the true essence at its source. This naturally flavored paste delivers a fresh new taste to try in your recipes. Just recently, the product is being carried in most major supermarkets in the United States and can be bought on line for a fairly reasonable price. The paste comes in a 1.4 oz (40 g) tube, and the beauty of it all is that you only need to use 1/2 teaspoon for most recipes, making it very economical.

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Taylor & Colledge Extract Paste, Lavender, 1.4 Ounce


Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan, One, Gold

Hello Friends!

All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you!


Mr. Crumb Stuffing Waffles with Fried Eggs

Image result for savory waffles umami girl

Photo Credit: Umami Girl, 2019.

 

 

For a change of pace this St. Patrick’s Day,  take a chance and try these savory waffles with cheddar made with Mr. Crumb Sage and Onion Stuffing™ . This dish works equally well for breakfast, brunch or dinner. Top with a fried egg and a dollop of sour cream and serve with a side of bacon and grilled tomatoes for a truly excellent meal.

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Adapted from
Mr. Crumb
February, 2019

Serves 6

Ingredients:
For the waffles:
Two  8-ounce (225g)  tubs of Mr. Crumb Sage and Onion Stuffing™
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 ounces (50g) Kerry Gold Dubliner Irish Cheddar Cheese™
1 tablespoon  fresh chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Vegetable cooking spray

For the Eggs:
Large knob of butter
6 large eggs
Snipped fresh chives, for garnish

For Serving:
Cooked bacon, fried mushrooms, grilled tomatoes or sautéed spinach

 

Directions:
Preheat a waffle iron to a medium setting.

Place the stuffing in a large bowl, gently breaking up any large lumps. Add the egg and stir to combine, making sure that all of the stuffing is evenly moistened.

Stir in the cheese and add parsley, thyme and  salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the stuffing mix into six equal portions and shape each one into a patty about 1-inch thick.

Using vegetable spray, lightly grease the waffle iron. Add the patty to the waffle iron and cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining patties.

Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add the butter. When the butter has melted and the skillet is hot, fry the eggs until cooked to your liking.

To serve, place a waffled on a plate and top with an egg and season with salt and black pepper. Serve with crispy bacon, fried mushrooms grilled tomatoes or sautéed spinach, if desired.

Enjoy!

 

Cook’s Notes:
Mr. Crumb Gourmet Stuffing is a product of Ireland and is cooked by hand in small batches by sautéing onions, herbs and spices in pure Irish Butter (made with milk from grass fed cows) before mixing in fresh breadcrumb. The product is available in the United States at Safeway and Albertson Supermarkets.


Greek Minty Meatballs

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Serves 4
Ingredients:

1 pound  ground beef
2 Tablespoons schmaltz (chicken fat)
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped mint
2 Tablespoons chopped oregano
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
One 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry, and chopped
Tomato sauce (optional)
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix beef, schmaltz, feta cheese, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon juice, lemon pepper, salt, garlic and peppers together in a large bowl, blending in cheese until no large crumbles remain. Using a 2-ounce scoop (1/8 cup) to measure, roll into 16 meatballs and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until browned and cooked through, about 25 minutes.
If desired, heat the tomato sauce in a medium saucepan and place the in the  tomato sauce and simmer, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
To serve, place the meatballs on a serving platter. Drizzle the meatballs with the sauce   and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor