For the most part, I try to give off a sense of normalcy. You know, just a girl who likes to bake and play with her camera. If you ever got a glimpse into my brain, you might think otherwise. I don’t think I am totally crazy, but I definitely have my share of quirks. Any given day you might find me dancing around the living room trying to make Brett look up from his programming homework or speaking in “Remy voice.” Yes, my dog has her own voice, doesn’t yours? Anyways, one quirk in particular that might make me seem nutty is my recipe development process.
At any given moment, I usually have about 3-8 notebooks circulating around my apartment, purse, computer bag, car, etc. No mater where I am, I want to be able to write down any idea that might come to mind. And since I spend an absurd amount of time thinking about flavors and adding on to my baking “To Do” list, each one is covered in notes, ideas, and scribbles. They hardly make any sense. The inspiration behind this recipe in particular was started at a local diner almost a whole year ago. I remember flipping through the specials menu that sat on top of the table when a flavor combination caught my eye. There was a list of house-made jams that incorporated local fruit with herbs and teas. Genius! I jotted down “Blueberry” and “Lavender” and then finished my breakfast. About a year later, I found those notes and turned them into this fabulous Blueberry Lavender Cake. Not only was I inspired to make my own version of a blueberry lavender jam, I challenged myself to find a way to really incorporate the lavender. To balance the vibrant jam, I created a silky lavender ganache. And where there is ganache, there is chocolate…. White chocolate cake! Yes, that will tie it all together. You starting to see where my crazy mind goes yet? LOL. The whole cake was iced in a plain vanilla buttercream, as to not compete with the other flavors. I used a whimsical blue and lavender watercolor effect for the buttercream and finished it with a sprinkling of sugar pearls.
- 2 teaspoons culinary lavender
- about 10-14 ounces heavy cream
- 16 ounce white chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Place lavender and 8 ounces of cream in a small saucepan. Heat on low until cream starts to steam and slightly simmer.
- Remove from heat and place in a heat-safe container. Cover and refrigerate for about 8-12 hours.
- Strain cream with a fine sieve into a measure cup. Top off cream so that there are 8 ounces total in the measuring cup. Pour into a small saucepan. Place chocolate in a heat-safe bowl.
- Heat over low until the cream starts to simmer.
- Pour cream over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds.
- Add butter and stir to combine.
- Let come back to room temperature before use.
- 2 tablespoon culinary lavender
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 2 cups blueberries, chopped
- 1 cups blueberries, whole
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Place lavender in a heat-safe bowl. Pour boiling water over lavender and let steep 10 minutes.
- Place chopped blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium pot. Heat over medium-high.
- Stain out lavender buds and add in half of the lavender "tea" to the blueberries.
- Stirring occasionally, let come to a boil.
- Cook down the blueberries for about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain into a large heat-safe bowl. Discard blueberry skins.
- Whisk in the cornstarch into the hot liquid.
- Return berry sauce to the pot. Add in the whole blueberries and heat over medium for an additional 5-8 minutes or until thickened.
- Removed from heat and stir in the remain lavender tea.
- Let cool before use.
When assembling, use a buttercream damn before layering the ganache and jam between the layers of cake.