I'm one of those people who loves the flavor of lavender in my food. However, if too much is used, your end result will taste something akin to a fancy bar of soap from L'Occitane. But if used sparingly, the lavender imparts such a subtly sweet and interesting flavor. Just make sure you buy food grade lavender flowers found in the spice aisle, not the bath & beauty aisle. If you happen to be one of those people who doesn't like the flavor of lavender, just omit it. The cake will still be quite wonderful without it.
I've made this cake several times over the past few years, never being completely satisfied with the results. It was always a bit too dry for my taste, but I discovered with the addition of sour cream and a bit of shredded coconut, it really stepped this cake up to another level. I suppose I never tossed the recipe away because this cake is so easy and quick to make. All you need is a food processor, and voilà!, a cake easy enough to make if you need dessert in a pinch but tastes like you toiled in the kitchen quite a bit longer.
BLACKBERRY-LAVENDER ALMOND CAKE
(adapted from deborah madison via williams-sonoma)
- 1 cup dry toasted unsalted almonds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar plus 1 tsp for sprinkling
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbs dried lavender, chopped fine
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- confectioners sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter or spray a 9" springform or cake pan with coconut oil and line bottom of pan with parchment.
In the bowl of a food processor, coarsely chop almonds. Transfer 1/4 cup almonds to a small bowl and mix with 1 tsp sugar and set aside. Add coconut, flour, baking powder and salt to food processor. Process until remaining almonds are finely ground. Transfer to a bowl.
In food processor, cream butter with 3/4 cup sugar. Add eggs one at a time, blending each one fully. Add sour cream, lemon zest, lavender and extracts.
Add half of reserved flour-almond mixture and pulse to blend. Add remaining flour and pulse until smooth. Scrape into prepared pan and place fruit on top in single layer. Sprinkle with almond-sugar over top of cake.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool cake before removing from pan. Dust with confectioners sugar if desired.