But first things first, the cake! I chose to bake a lavender and lime chiffon cake as I had plenty of eggs left from my recent trip to Yorkshire (post here). As far as flower essences go, the only ones I've really come across are rose and lavender. As my last CCC bake used rose water (rose and pistachio bundt), I decided to give lavender a try.
I've never had anything with lavender in before and worried it'd be too scented. But the lime curd filling and lime buttercream cuts through the floral flavour perfectly. I've been enjoying using the curds that Mackay's sent me, so zesty balanced with just the right amount of sweetness.
A few other cake clubber's used lavender in their bakes too; lemon and lavender, chocolate and lavender, vodka and lavender.
Other cakes used lemon and poppyseed or rose. But all were covered in varying flowering decorations.
A strange coincidence that lavender was such a popular choice because this was our beautiful outdoor venue...
Mayfield Lavender is a 25 acre lavender field on the North Surrey Downs and is very impressive! We were joined by many a busy bee and also other visitors to the fields offering to buy slices from us. People were impressed that there's such thing as a secret cake club where you get to eat an abundance of home baked treats.
Lavender and Lime Chiffon Cake
(Recipe adapted from Technicolor Kitchen)
6 eggs, separated
60ml sunflower oil
6 tablespoons water
300g caster sugar
2 teaspoons lavender extract
187g plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 jar Mackay's lime curd
140g unsalted butter, softened
450g icing sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line the bottoms of three 8 inch round cake tins with baking paper, do not grease.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, oil and water and set aside.
- Place 200g of the sugar, the lavender, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and gently combine. Add the yolk mixture and whisk to form a smooth batter.
- Place the egg whites in a large bowl in a stand mixer and beat on a medium-high speed until frothy. slowly add the remaining 100g of sugar and the cream of tartar and continue to whip until soft, droopy peaks form.
- Fold 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the batter, taking care not to deflate the mixture. Gently fold in the remaining eggs whites.
- Divide the batter between the three tins and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden and a cake tester comes out cleanly from the centre/
- Allow the layers to cool completely in the pans. To remove, run a blunt knife around the edges, invert each pan and tap out the cake onto a wire rack. Carefully peel off the paper.
- Leave the cakes wrapped in cling film overnight to firm before sandwiching with a generous helping of lime curd.
- For the butter cream, beat the butter until smooth before adding the icing sugar, lime and vanilla. Continue beating until smooth and creamy.
- Start with 1/3 of the buttercream and cover the cake with a palette knife to form a crumb coat. Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes before covering the cake with the remains. Decorate with fresh flowers and glitter.
If you fancied reading our Clandestine Cake Club write up by Andrew then you can find it here.
Or Becky's blog has a cheeky picture of Harriet and myself having a good old cakey chat, here.