Lavender Meyer Lemon Madeleines

Madeleines, the classic French tea cakes, are baked in special molds that give them a delicate shell shape. The name ‘Madeleine’ was given to these delightful tea cakes by Louis XV to honor his father in law’s cook, Madeleine Paulmier.

Madeleines infused with organic culinary lavender flowers and Meyer lemon are truly delicious and very easy to make. Madeleines are best eaten the day they’re baked. Though 3-5 day old Madeleines are wonderful, too, when dunked into coffee, espresso, or even wine. However, you enjoy them, gift yourself with making some.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup spelt pastry flour
2 tablespoons almond flour
1/3 cup sweet butter (dairy or non-dairy)
1 teaspoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon organic culinary lavender (finely chopped)*
1/3 cup almond milk

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour 12 (3 inch) madeleine molds; set aside.

Melt butter and let cool to room temperature.

Place spelt pastry flour, almond flour, sugar, almond milk, lemon juice, and melted butter in mixing bowl. Beat mixture at high speed until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Add lemon zest and lavender flowers and beat for additional 2-3 minutes until they are well blended.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into each mold.

Bake for 15-17 minutes , or until cakes are golden and the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertip.

Use the tip of the knife to loosen madeleines from pan if necessary; invert onto rack.

Let it cool for 5-10 minutes if you want to eat them right away. If packaging as gifts, let them cool for at least an hour.

* Culinary Lavender Tip: Always use high grade organic culinary lavender such as Pelindaba Lavender’s Organic Culinary Lavender. It’s sweet, aromatic and delightful, which will make your baked goods even heavenlier!

YIELD: Makes 12 tea cakes

SOURCE: Chef Ellie Lavender of Lavender Design + Cuisine is a vegan Mediterranean personal chef, culinary instructor and artisan chocolatier. Her next cooking and wine pairing class is A Taste of Spain on Your Plate on Saturday,  April 7, 2018.

Greek Walnut Cake (Karidopita)

This vegan version of karidopita is full of flavor, spicy and moist — a satisfying cake to enjoy anytime.

INGREDIENTS:

Cake
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups water
1/2 cup cognac
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dark raisins
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
Zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Syrup*
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick

*If you’d like a less sweet cake, simply dust the top of cake with powdered sugar and skip the syrup.

METHOD:

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray non-stick baking spray into 9 x 13 baking pan and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together oil, water and cognac. Add raisins and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves.

Add oil/cognac mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in lemon zest and chopped walnuts.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes.

Allow cake to cool. Dust top with powdered sugar, or pour syrup over cake.

Syrup:
In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until mixture thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and pour warm syrup over cake.

Wildflower Honey Cake with Indian Summer Berry Compote

INGREDIENTS:

Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup wildflower honey
1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rye flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup walnuts chopped

Raspberry Sauce
10 ounces raspberries frozen in syrup
¼ cup sugar

Compote
1 pint raspberries
1 pint strawberries quartered
1 pint blueberries
1 pint raspberry sauce (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon mint chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice

METHOD:
Cake:
Cream butter and whisk in honey, yogurt, sour cream, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Mix flours, salt, soda, clove, and walnuts. Combine ingredients softly. Do not whip or beat. Butter 8-inch square pan. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes until skewer comes out clean. Cool and turn out of pan onto cake rack. Cut into 1 inch squares.

Raspberry Sauce:
Thaw raspberries in their syrup. Mash berries. In a heavy small saucepan, bring sugar and berries to a boil. Cool. Press through fine mesh sieve.

Compote:
Combine fruit, mint, and lemon juice with raspberry sauce.

Serve cake topped with compote.

YIELD: Serves 8

SOURCE: Recipe by Richard Chamberlain, Restaurant at the Little Nell, Aspen

Classic Vanilla Pound Cake

This cream cheese pound cake is flavorful and moist — and equally delicious served plain or with fresh fruit spooned over it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1⁄2 cups unsalted butter, softened (use Plugra or other European style butter for best flavor)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1⁄4 teaspoon salt

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease and flour large (12 cup) bundt cake pan, set aside.

Place butter and cream cheese in bowl of stand mixer. Using flat beater, beat mixture until creamy.

Gradually add sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in vanilla extract.

Whisk together flour and salt. With speed on low, gradually add flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until flour is thoroughly incorporated.

Pour batter into a well greased and floured bundt pan.

Place 2 cups cold water in an ovenproof container on the oven rack next to the cake.

Bake cake at 300°F for 1 hour 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.

Place pan on a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and complete cooling on the wire rack.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired. Cake keeps well for several days.

YIELD: 12-14 servings

VARIATIONS:
Almond Pound Cake: Add 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
Orange Pound Cake: Add 2 teaspoons pure orange extract, 2 tablespoons orange zest.
Lemon Pound Cake: Add 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract, 1 tablespoon lemon zest.
Coconut: Add 1 teaspoon coconut extract, fold 1/2 cup flaked coconut into batter. Sprinkle top of cake with coconut and powdered sugar before serving.

Molten Center Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 lb. bittersweet chocolate, premium quality
1/4 lb. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
3/8 cup all purpose flour, sifted

Special Equipment:
5 four ounce ramekins, buttered and floured

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 375.°

Melt butter and chocolate together over double boiler or in microwave.

Using a stand mixer with whip attachment or hand mixer, whip eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until light and fluffy.

Fold egg sugar mixture into chocolate butter. Gently fold in flour to chocolate mixture until fully incorporated.

Divide batter equally among ramekins. Place ramekins on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 5-8 minutes (until cakes rise). The cakes should still be gooey, or “molten” in the center, after baking. Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Chef Notes:
The cakes can be made ahead up to the baking point and then frozen covered with plastic wrap. Allow the cakes come to room temperature before baking.

The cake may be flavored with lavender, cardamom, ginger, mint, cinnamon, or orange by adding dry herbs to the melted butter, steeping 10 to 15 minutes, and then straining. If using lavender or mint, do not steep longer than 8 minutes or you risk it becoming bitter. Then add the chocolate. Around a tablespoon of herbs or spices should do the trick. For flavoring with liqueurs (as in orange, or brandy), add this to the egg mixture. Adding liquid to melted chocolate may cause the chocolate to “seize”, rendering it useless for this recipe.

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Meyer Lemon Glaze

There are many versions of this cake recipe on the internet, but I especially enjoy the version from Babbo Cookbook, by Mario Batali. It’s the perfect, not-too-sweet kind of cake to enjoy with an espresso or cup of tea.

INGREDIENTS:

Cake
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Grated zest from one Meyer lemon (optional, but very good)

Glaze
1/4 cup fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners sugar

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a 10-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Using the whip attachment, beat the eggs in a stand mixer for 30 seconds.

Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very foamy and pale in color. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Using a spatula, gently fold the rosemary and lemon zest into the batter.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is done when it is golden brown, springs back when touched, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool briefly in the pan, then tip out onto a cake rack to continue cooling. Pour glaze on cake while still hot.

To Make the Glaze:

In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice and granulated sugar, then whisk in the confectioners sugar until the glaze is smooth and no lumps of powdered sugar. (Pour glaze through strainer, if need be.) Pour glaze over hot cake.

Carrot Cake

“This was one of my childhood favorites! It’s my Grandmas carrot cake with cream cheese icing. We used to make them in little loaf pans for maximum icing coverage!” — Marina Sousa

INGREDIENTS:

Cake
3 cups grated carrots
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups Crisco oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 cup butter
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 lb. powdered sugar

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 9 x 13 oblong cake pan. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine carrots, eggs, sugar and vegetable oil and mix until well blended. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 55 minutes. Cool.

For Icing

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, and vanilla together until well blended. Beat in powdered sugar. Spread the icing on cake(s).

VARIATION:

Bake the batter in six small baking tins, 4 3/4 x 2 1/2 inches, using about 1 cup of batter per pan. Decrease baking time to 40 minutes. 

SOURCE: Dorothy Chiesa

Ground Cherry Upside Down Cake

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups ground cherries, husked and washed
12 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup dark rum
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Remove the husk cherries from their husks by squeezing at the stem end. Rinse the cherries and discard any that have split or are discolored.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar in a medium bowl, and set aside.

Over low heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over. Whisk in the brown sugar. Carefully whisk in the rum and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. The sugar may not completely dissolve. Remove from the heat and pour the sugar mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9 inch cake pan. Add the husk cherries and arrange them in a single layer in the bottom of the pan. Set the pan aside.

Over low heat, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the milk, and slowly add in the melted butter, whisking to combine. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth to the edges with a spatula. Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake rest ten minutes. Place a large plate over cake pan and carefully invert the cake onto the plate. Let it cool an additional 20 minutes. Serve the cake warm with lightly whipped cream.

SOURCE: Recipe adapted from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple-upside-down-cake-1

This old-timey recipe is courtesy of a dear friend who is a retired woodsman and has quite a collection of old cookbooks from the turn of the century. Larry loves to bake in his free time using recipes from his old cookbooks.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 can sliced pineapple rings
6-8 maraschino cherries
1/4 cup pecan halves
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons pineapple juice

METHOD:

Melt butter in large, iron skillet, about 11 inches in diameter. Spread brown sugar evenly in skillet and arrange pineapple slices on top, filling in spaces with pecans. Place cherries decoratively in center of pineapple rings. Set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

Whip egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Set aside.

Beat egg yolks until light, adding sugar gradually; add pineapple juice and sifted flour; fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.

Pour batter over pineapple. Bake at 350°F, 35-40 minutes until cake is a rich, golden brown and tests done. Cool cake in pan on a rack for about a half hour, then turn upside down on a cake plate.

Delicious served warm!

SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Larry Canning

Apple Walnut Cake

There’s something about the aroma of an apple-cinnamon cake baking that says, “Welcome home!” This cake will stay moist for several days and is delicious as a dessert or an afternoon tea cake.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup applesauce
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 cups walnuts, chopped

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray bundt pan with non-stick spray with flour and set pan aside.

Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and into a large mixing bowl. Add oil, applesauce, and eggs and stir until just combined. Add apples and nuts and gently stir into batter.

Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and spread evenly in pan using rubber spatula.

Bake at 350°F until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Allow cake to cool for 15–20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.