Monday, February 18, 2013

Lavender cakes and a productive weekend

We had a productive weekend with a tiny reshuffle to bring the outdoors in.
These black floors really suck up the light, so it's good to introduce light whenever possible.

I am madly in love with this cookbook at the moment. Delicious Simply the Best by Valli Little.
Just in the last few days I've made the roasted tomato soup. If you make it, I'd suggest sieving it before serving. Tonight I made the baked bouillabaisse which is cooked in paper. For my husband's  birthday cake I made the Orange Lavender Syrup Cake. Very good. Highly recommended.
This is the recipe.
250g unsalted butter, softened (don't be afraid)
1 cup castger sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup sifted plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
finely grated zest and juice of two oranges
250g fine semolina
120g thick Greek style yoghurt
250g strawberries (although, as you can see I used figs)
For the syrup
finely grated zest and juice of two oranges
1 tablespoon of dried lavender flowers (I used a handful of fresh ones)
2 cinnamon quills
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
Preheat oven to 170. Greease a 23cm round springform pan, line the base with baking paper and lightly dust the sides with flour, shaking off excess.
Beat the butter and sugar until thick and pale. Add the eggs one at a time, then fold in the flour and baking powder, followed by the orange zest, semolina and almond meal.
Add orange juice and yoghurt and gently stir until combined. Pour into pan and bake for an hour until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for five minutes.
For the syrum combine all the ingredients in a saucepan with 1 1/3 cups water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until it reduces a bit and slightly thickens.
Prick the cake with a skewer repeatedly and pour over half the syrup.
Toss the fruit in the remaining syrup and use to serve.
I served the cake and fruit with the syrup drained from the fruit and some double cream.
Serves 6-8.

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