Setting the Mood: Rainy summer days and homemade cake cravings
There is nothing more comforting on a rainy summer’s day than a piece of homemade cake. Following a gluten free diet for health rather than fad diet reasons, I often make my own cakes and desserts. Fed up with following my tried and tested Victoria Sandwich recipe, I thought I would try something different this afternoon.
Inspiration Strikes: How essential oils influenced a dessert choice
Lemon and Lavender are two of my favourite essential oils and make a wonderful relaxing and refreshing blend for a massage. Having recently bought some edible lavender plants from Wyevale, I thought I would try them out in a cake.
Adapting Classics: The journey from Country Living’s recipe
The recipe I followed was adapted from Country Living Magazines’ Lemon and lavender Madeira cake.
Easy All-in-One Method: A nod to Mary Berry
Like a few of the Mary Berry recipes that I adapt, it’s a quick and easy all in one method, stick it all in a mixer, then the oven and in an hour you have cake!
For the lemon and lavender Madeira Cake: Essential items to have on hand
175g of dairy free spread suitable for cooking
225g of gluten free self-raising flour (I find that Doves farm is one of the best but Aldi’s own brand is a very good alternative).
1 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder
zest of 1 lemon
175g of caster sugar
2 teaspoons of fresh or dried lavender flowers
3 medium eggs
2 tablespoons of water (gluten free cakes can often be dry so I always add in a bit of water)
For the Icing: The perfect finishing touch
175g of icing sugar sieved
1 teaspoon of fresh or dried lavender flowers
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice (you are looking for a consistency that you can pour over the cake but not too runny that it comes off the cake).
- Heat the oven to 160ºC (140ºC fan oven) gas mark 3. Lightly grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
- Add the dairy free spread, lemon zest, sugar and lavender into the bowl of a mixer, sift the flour and baking powder, and then add the eggs and water. whisk together for 2 minutes light in colour on the highest setting of the mixer. Spoon the mixture into the lined loaf tin.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. It is important not to over bake as the cake can come out too dry. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
Icing the Cake: Finishing with a flourish and enjoying every bite:
- Mix together the icing sugar, fresh or dried lavender flowers and enough of the lemon juice to make a spreadable but not too runny icing. Add a drop or two of tepid water if necessary. When the cakes are completely cold, spread the icing over the top of the lemon and lavender cake and enjoy!