Monday, May 20, 2019

Lemon Lavender Blackberry Cake #TheCakeSliceBakers


Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is The European Cake Cookbook by Tatyana Nesteruk*. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes! 


Follow our FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details. 

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.


Here were the selections for May 2019 - Kladdkaka-Sticky Chocolate Cake, Lemon Lavender Blackberry Cake, Sirnek-Ukrainian Cherry Cheesecake, and  Amaretto Creme Cake - and here are our links. Surprisingly, no one made the Sirnek-Ukrainian Cherry Cheesecake. I might have to fix that before the month is through. Check out the posts...

Kladdkaka-Sticky Chocolate Cake
Lemon Lavender Blackberry Cake
Amaretto Creme Cake


Lemon Lavender Blackberry Cake

I am one of those nutty people who find cooking completely relaxing. So, it doesn't bother me one bit to make my own birthday dinner and cake! I decided to make the Lemon Lavender Blackberry Cake for myself. After making this one, I finally wrote a review of the book because I had four of the cakes under my belt. You can read my thoughts in this post: Stretching My Cake-Baking Skills. And, on that note, this recipe gave me a different way to make buttercream. I love it! I'll be making buttercream this way from now on.

This cake appears in the "Western Delicacies" chapter as French Pastry-Inspired Creations. Nesteruk writes, "These unique cakes are made with flavors such as lavender, chocolate, hazelnut, coffee, and berries. They're not only a pleasing sight for the eyes, but also captivating for the discriminating palate" (pg. 39).

Ingredients

Cake
  • 1/4 C butter, softened
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 t lemon extract
  • zest from 1 organic lemon
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 1-1/2 C flour
  • 1/3 C almond flour
  • 3 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 C fresh organic blackberries
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • Also needed 9" round baking pans, parchment paper
Buttercream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 C water
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 T organic corn syrup
  • 2 C butter, softened
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • blue and red food coloring, as needed (I prefer vegetable and fruit-based dyes)
For Serving
  • fresh organic blackberries
  • organic lavender sprigs
  • candles, if it's for a birthday!

Procedure

Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 9" round baking pans by buttering them and lining the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until lightened and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add in the egg yolks, lemon extract, and lemon zest. Mix again, then pour in the milk.

In another mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients: flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the batter and fold in gently with a spatula until just moistened.

In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until medium peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter, taking care not to deflate the egg whites too much.


Divide the cake batter evenly between four cake pans (the original recipe said three, I wanted to do four layers). Toss the blackberries in a small bowl with the cornstarch, then press 8 or so berries into each pan. Try to space them evenly apart.


Place pans on baking sheets and place them in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the layers are firm and golden. Remove the trays from the oven and cool the cakes completely on wire racks.


Buttercream
Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl and beat on high until they are thick, pale, and ribbon off the whisks.

Combine water, sugar, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. You can attach a candy thermometer to the side; I just kept testing until it reached soft-ball stage. If you're using a thermometer, heat until it reaches 238 degrees F. For testing otherwise, dip a spoon into the syrup, then into ice cold water. The syrup should immediately set up into a soft ball. Mine took about 8 minutes to reach the correct consistency.

Once the syrup is ready, remove it from the heat. While one hand hold the mixer, use the other hand to pour the syrup into the yolks. When all of the syrup is added, turn the mixer up to high and beat until the yolks have doubled in size and have reached medium peak stage. The bowl should be cooled and just lukewarm to the touch. Mine took about 9 minutes.

Begin adding butter, one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. The more butter you add, the more firm the buttercream will be.


Once your buttercream resembles what you think of as buttercream, add in the lavender essential oil and the food coloring. I started with equal parts red and blue, but it just looked strange. So, I added more red and went with a muted pinkish shade!


For Serving
Once the cake layers have cooled completely, use a serrated knife to cut the layers flat. Spread a generous amount of buttercream between each layer and place them on your serving platter.

Smooth the buttercream over the top and along the sides. Garnish the top with blackberries and lavender.


And, as I mentioned, if it's a birthday celebration, get some candles. I could only scrounge two candles from the drawer.


The night before, at another birthday party, my friends only had a '3', a '4', and a '7'. So, Jake and I together were turning 347. No matter. blowing out candles always feels festive, no matter if the number is accurate or not!


There we go. Happy birthday to me!


This was such a stunning cake. It looked beautiful and tasted amazing, too. It's definitely one to repeat. Now I just need an occasion.


*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

7 comments:

  1. What fun photos! This cake sounds delicious. I'm definitely going to have to try that buttercream method.

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  2. Looks delicious!

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  3. I love how your cake turned out. This was my choice for the month as well and it is delicious.

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  4. Well it looked like you had a fun, well deserved celebration. The cake turned out awesome.

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  5. Number 1, love the nail polish! And the cake turned out beautifully, too.

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  6. Happy Birthday! Lovely cake for a lovely celebration.

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  7. Happy Birthday! I also loved this method of making buttercream. Will definitely use it again.

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