This lush Italian dessert cake makes a bold and unusual statement with the addition of fresh lavender syrup. It is an elegant Dinner Party Dessert Cake which marries fruit & herbs together in a fresh & imaginative way! One of my "Stand By and Never Fails to Please" dinner party desserts!! Great served with just the simple addition of some creme fraiche. If you are using dried lavender flowers, please remember that they are more pungent than fresh flowers, so use sparingly! NOTE: I would be very wary of using too much lavender - it is quite a pervasive flavour, the essence of this recipe is that delicate flavours marry well with each other & are not too overpowering!
- 6 ounces polenta
- 2 ounces plain flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons of thick natural yoghurt
- 5 tablespoons sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
- 2 large lemons, zest of, grated
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 14 ounces caster sugar
- 2 -4 sprigs of fresh lavender flowers
- fresh raspberry, to serve
- Heat oven to 180 C or 360 F or Gas mark 4.
- Sift the polenta, flour, baking powder & salt into a bowl.
- Tip the yoghurt, oil, lemon zest & juice into a jug and stir to combine.
- Beat the eggs and egg whites with half the sugar until thick and creamy.
- Fold in the dry ingredients.
- Pour the batter into a greased & lined 2 pint loaf tin.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until set & a skewer comes out clean.
- Put the remaining sugar into a pan with 7 fl oz of water and the lavender heads.
- Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Cool completely & then strain into a clean jug.
- Whilst the cake is still warm, prick the top and drizzle over half the syrup, saving the rest to serve with the cake later.
- TO SERVE:.
- Serve with extra syrup, raspberries, creme fraiche & a sprig of lavender.
- The normal portions I use are 2 thin slices on each plate, overlapped for effect and then a drizzle of syrup around the slices with raspberries scattered over the top and a rounded tablespoon of creme fraiche to one side.