- 240g whole milk
- 2 tsp dried culinary lavender
- 60g sour cream
- 325g cake flour
- 300g granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 225g unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 100g granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tsp dried culinary lavender
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 115gcream cheese, at room temperature
- 625g to 750g powdered sugar
- 3 to 4 Tbsp heavy cream or whole milk
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 4 large egg whites
- 265g granulated sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 450g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ to 1 cup (120ml to 240ml) blackberry jam
- Gel Food colouring
- Slowly bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lavender. Allow for a 20-minute steeping period. Remove the lavender and strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve placed over a basin. Allow to cool fully before serving.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare three 8-inch (20-cm) cake pans by greasing and flouring them and lining the bottoms with parchment paper.
- Combine 180g lavender milk and sour cream in a small mixing dish or liquid measuring cup.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat the ingredients on low speed with the paddle attachment until barely blended. 12 cup (120ml) of the lavender milk mixture, plus the butter, vanilla, and around 12 cup (120ml) of the lavender milk mixture 1 minute on medium, mix until uniformly dispersed and dry ingredients are moistened. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula after stopping the mixer.
- Stir together the leftover lavender milk mixture and the eggs. Add the egg mixture in three additions, mixing for about 15 seconds after each addition and stopping the mixer between additions to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, with the mixer running on medium speed.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Cook for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the cakes to cool on a wire rack before removing them from the pans. Before removing the paper, let the cakes to cool fully on the wire rack, right-side up. As required, use a long serrated knife to level the tops of the cakes.
- Bring the sugar and 12 cup (120ml) water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce to a low heat setting and stir in the lavender. Cook the syrup for 5 to 10 minutes on low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Remove the lavender and strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve placed over a basin.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- On medium speed, beat the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing basin with a handheld mixer) until smooth. Sift the confectioner’s sugar in the meanwhile. Slowly add 5 cups (625g) confectioner’s sugar, 3 tbsp cream, and the vanilla extract to the mixer on low speed until well combined. Turn the mixer to medium high and mix for 3 to 5 minutes, or until frothy. 12 cup (65g) at a time, add the remaining 1 cup (125g) confectioner’s sugar and/or the remaining 1 Tbsp cream until the appropriate consistency is attained. It should be creamy and spreadable, not runny.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
- Brush the lavender syrup generously over the cake layers. On a cake board or serving dish, place one cake layer. Spread roughly a third of a cup (80ml) of cream cheese frosting on top with an offset spatula. Fill a piping bag with part of the cream cheese frosting and a simple round tip. To make a “dam,” pipe a ring around the top edge of the cake. To make a “bulls-eye,” pipe a second ring of cream cheese frosting a few inches in from the outer ring.
- Fill in the crevices between the cream cheese frosting rings with 14 to 13 cup (60 to 120ml) of blackberry jam using a spoon. Repeat with a second cake layer, then top with the final cake layer.
- Chill the cake for 15 minutes after crumb coating it with cream cheese frosting. The leftover cream cheese buttercream should be used to frost the cake.
SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar. To blend them, gently whisk them together by hand. Bring an inch or two (2.5 to 5cm) of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. To make a double boiler, place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Heat the egg mixture, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer reads 160°f / 70°c.
- Fit the whisk attachment to the stand mixer and carefully attach the mixer bowl to the stand mixer (it may be hot). On high speed, beat the egg white mixture for 8 to 10 minutes, or until medium-stiff peaks form and the outside of the bowl has reached room temperature.
- Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the vanilla extract. Add a couple of tablespoons of butter at a time, mixing until each is fully integrated before moving on to the next. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with the paddle attachment.
- Turn the mixer to medium high and beat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the buttercream is silky smooth.
DECORATE THE CAKE
- For the leaves, tint a tiny quantity of buttercream green. For the flowers, tint the leftover buttercream in the colors of your choice. Cut parchment paper into 30 2-inch (5-cm) squares. Apply a dab of buttercream to a flower nail and top with a square of paper. Fill piping bags with coloured buttercream and various piping tips (I like to use a coupler so that I can switch out the tips). I used a Wilton #103 and #104 petal tip for the petal flowers, a Wilton #81 tip for the Mum flower, and a tiny round tip for the blobby flowers.
- On top of the parchment squares, pipe different buttercream flowers, then move the flowers to a baking sheet or cutting board. Refrigerate the piped flowers for at least 15 minutes until set.
- Pipe a ring of buttercream around the top of the cake, about 1 inch (2.5cm) from the border, to make the flower crown. Carefully remove the frozen flowers from their paper squares and place them on the ring of buttercream with a tiny offset spatula, angling them slightly in and away from the center of the cake.
- Fill a piping bag with green buttercream and pipe leaves to fill in any gaps between the blooms using a leaf tip.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.
Source: Cloudy KitchenDon’t miss interesting posts on Onnewslive