The Frenchman

So, here’s the thing:  I did  have a delicious recipe for burnt caramel ice cream, à la Toscanini’s, and a very sweet story about my father and his affinity for said ice cream.  Unfortunately, said father ate said ice cream faster than you can say Toscanini’s and therefore I had no opportunity to photograph it.  Glad at least someone enjoyed it…  Anyways, here’s something equally sweet.
Fresh from the garden

 J’ai un ami qui s’appelle Emile, et il adore la lavande; on blague que ça c’est car il est français.  Alors, il est le “Frenchman.”  C’était son anniversaire la lundi dernière, mais je n’étais pas à l’école ce jour là.  C’est dommage que je l’ait raté, mais j’ai fait ce gâteau pour lui hier.  C’est un gâteau de lavande et citron avec le glaçage de la gousse de vanille.

Du sucre avec la lavande et zeste d’un citron

    I have a friend named Emile, and he loves lavender; we joke that it’s because he’s French.  He is the Frenchman.  It was his birthday last Monday, but I wasn’t in school that day.  It’s too bad I missed it, but I made this cake for him yesterday.  It’s a lavender and lemon cake with vanilla bean frosting.

J’ai su immédiatement que j’ai voulu adapter un gâteau de yaourt français pour qu’il puisse avoir de la lavande; je fait ce gâteau souvent, et il est magnifiquement moelleux et de citron, grâce au yaourt.  Il n’y a pas de beurre dans le gâteau, mais on ne le sait jamais du saveur.

I knew straight away that I wanted to adapt a French yogurt cake to include lavender; I make this cake often, and it is wonderfully moist and lemony, thanks to the yogurt. There is no butter in the cake, though you wouldn’t know it from the taste.
Freckles like mine


 Anyways, I had a little issue with the decorating:  I dyed some sanding sugar lavender, and planned to use that on the cake.  Once on the frosted cake, it looked garish and simply awful.  So, I scraped it off and tried to save the frosting.  I then wanted to use lots of sprinkles to make it more festive, but somehow, Lord knows how, I was almost all out of sprinkles. This I only realized after putting some sprinkles on the cake.  So, I scraped that off and did a minimal sprinkling and tried to make those that stuck on the cake look purposeful.  Oh well.  You live, you learn.
Joyeuse anniversaire, mon ami.
Glossy, stiff peaks.  Parfait.
Lavender Lemon Yogurt Cake

adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking
makes 2 8-inch rounds
1 cup flour
1/2 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
healthy pinch sea salt
1 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons chopped fresh lavender
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil (I used equal parts olive and canola)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease two 8-inch rounds.  Whisk the flours, baking powder, and salt together.  Rub the lemon zest, lavender, and sugar in a bowl with your fingers until it becomes fragrant; add to the flour mixture.  Add the yogurt, eggs, and oil, and mix together.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake springs back to the touch and is golden.
Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Swiss Meringue Buttercream
makes 2.5 cups
5 ounces egg whites
5.5 ounces sugar
Scrapings of one or two vanilla beans
Pinch of salt
1 pound butter, slightly soft, in small pieces
5 ounces mascarpone
Heat the egg whites, vanilla beans, salt, and sugar in a bain marie until they reach 145 degrees F.  Whip until a stiff, glossy meringue forms, and the bowl is cool to the touch.  Add in the butter slowly, one piece at a time, until all is incorporated (meringue will deflate).  Then add the mascarpone.
Didn’t bring my camera to school.  iPhone suffices.


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