I’ve come to realize the simpler things in life, are often the most awe-inspiring. Lately, I’ve been experimenting a lot with “painted” cakes — using coloured buttercream, and smearing it on to the cake as if it’s a canvas. I keep finding inspiration in flowers, and this time I stumbled upon a tin of culinary grade lavender buds in my baking cupboard and thought about recreating a field of lavender flowers. This lead me to think about the colour of lavender, and how it reminded me of berries — blueberries to be specific.
So I created a cake with a very subtle lavender taste, paired with something that was familiar to most palettes — blueberry jam. The cake has layers of vanilla cake soaked in lavender syrup, filled with blueberry jam, and covered in vanilla Italian meringue buttercream. If you would like a stronger lavender taste I would highly suggest infusing the lavender buds into the water needed for the hot sugar syrup in the Italian meringue buttercream, but straining the buds from the water before making the sugar syrup.
The problem with lavender is that if you add too much, it’ll become too floral and almost taste like soap. It’s best when it’s subtle or light, and pairs perfectly with the blueberries.
2g (1 tsp) culinary grade lavender buds
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
125 (1/2 cup) water
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the water until boiling. Take off heat and add the lavender buds. Steep the buds for 10 min.
- After steeping, strain the buds away, and add the granulated sugar.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, letting the sugar dissolve.
- Once the sugar is fully dissolved, take off heat and use when cooled.
Homemade Blueberry Jam
130g (1 cup) frozen wild blueberries
60g (2 tbsp) sugar
7g (1 tbsp) cornstarch
5g (1 tsp) lemon juice
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the frozen blueberries and lemon juice.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch, then add to the blueberries.
- Whisk over medium heat until the mixture boils and cooks for about 1-2 min or until extremely thick.
- Pour into a heatproof bowl and cover with palstic wrap directly on the surface of the jam in order to prevent a skin from forming as it cools.
- Once completely cooled, use and enjoy.