June 16, 2010

Lavender Madeira: The taste of Summer!



Another Cake? I know. I'm addicted. It's just that butter is the perfect consistency for cake making nowadays, what with all this lovely weather we've been having. Anyway I was flicking through Country Homes & Interiors Magazine, as I'm sure alot of twenty six year old girls do, and I came across this freaky little recipe, so I had to try it.

Oh. Yum. So gorgeous and so easy. This beauty is smattered with lavender buds and covered in sugar. A golden crumbly cake with a subtle floral scent that epitomises a summer afternoon in the garden. Sigh. I got the lavender buds from The Real Olive Company stall in The English Market in Cork. My giant lavender plant still hasn't flowered so for now I'll rely on these.



As usual I doubled the mixture because I wanted two cakes instead of one. I always want lots of people to taste whatever I make. Then I pester them with questions: More sugar? Honestly did it taste like soap? Would you make it? Should I make it again? Are those tears of joy or dismay?

Lavender Madeira Cake

Makes 1 cake/ 12 slices

125 g butter, softened

150g sugar & extra to sprinkle

2 eggs

175g self raising flour

4 tsps lavender flowers, fresh or dried

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

  • Preheat the oven to 170/325. Grease & line a metal loaf tin about 19cmx19cm.
  • Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix for 1 to 2 mins until smooth.
  • Turn into the tin, level the top and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake for about 1 hour or until risen and just firm to the touch.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool and sprinkle more sugar on top.

Isn't it so easy? Unreal. I'm definitely going to make it again. Before I tasted it I was thinking of covering the top in lilac icing, which would have looked gorgeous but there really is no need, it tastes beautiful and delicate as it is. Perfect with a strong pot of tea.

Lilly x

10 comments:

  1. I think I'll go and make this right now, as there's a convenient pot of lavender on my kitchen windowsill and a homecoming traveller expected tomorrow. What a relief to have found a replacement activity for all the very important and time-critical things I was going to do before bedtime.

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  2. My Mum always has lavender on her pillow to help her sleep. I imagine I would sleep soundly if I had a slice of lavender cake on my pillow ... Sweet Dreams to me :-)

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  3. hey lilly...so i got there first with the elderflowers but you've stumped me now with the lavender! i love lavender in cooking...in fact my ebay name is 'lavender biscuit' since i had just made a batch when i was registering...must tell that story on the blog. still here in sunny cork. eating and drinking lots. will be as fat as a fool rolling back to dublin. x

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  4. Your photos are fantastic - I'm fantasizing about eating a slice - and I don't even like the smell of lavender!!!

    I know what you mean about the butter being perfect for cake making - so much better then having to leave it sitting on the rad before I bake!

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  5. Hi Lilly - that is a fantastic looking cake so I will definitely try it as the garden has loads of lavender, never thought of it as a bake ingredient though I got some yummy sweets in France a few years ago from the lavender area near the Rhone. What a great idea to add lavender flowers to the mix!Agree that the butter is perfect consistency for baking now, no need to be softening it up in a warm oven like in winter! and I always double the madeira mix to get two cakes. Have you tried the loaf-tin liners from the 2 Euro shops? they are brill for cakes, and even soda bread in loaf shapes and you don't have to wash the loaf tins then. They look real professional in case you want to sell your lovely cakes at the farmers' Market!
    All the best, Catherine.

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  6. Beautiful looking cakes! The question about the lavender tasting like soap would be a huge question for me, or a huge concern. These look great though!

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  7. Waw!! this cake with laveneder in it looks like a real treat!

    Just georgous & amazing too!

    MMMMMMMMMMMM,..I will try to make a gluten free version of this!!

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  8. absolutly brilliant. your photos look good enough to eat.

    we are having a lavender festival here on saturday, i'm excited now to buy some fresh flowers to bake up!

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  9. Mise: I hope you made it! It's so quick & easy!
    Gillian: Thats a great idea, cake before bed!
    Sharon: I wanted to make lavender shortbread for ages so must try that next!
    Brownievillegirl: Thanks! It'd my boyfriends camera, a Nikon. It's magic, I just point & shoot!
    Catherine: That's good to know about the 2 euro shop, must check it out, Thanks!
    I.Yarn: I was concerned about the soap taste too! I should have said actually that I doubled the mix but only added 1 1/2 times the lavender and it was lovely, not too overpowering.
    Sophie: Let me know if you make a gluten free version! That would be a great recipe to have, Thanks!
    Lori-Ann: That's so cute, A Lavender festival? I'd love it!

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  10. just catching up as been out and about whilst the sun is shining.
    This looks divine, I can almost smell it, and lavender is medicinal right? so weight watchers can't complain!

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Let me know what you think!x