7.17.2008

Lemon Pound Cake with Lavender Syrup



A few weeks ago, we ducked into a restaurant to hide from a sudden downpour. It was one of those NYC summer days where it feels like the heat and the rain are competing for space, leaving little air left to breathe.

I ordered a Lavender Lemon Fizz off the menu, hoping the fizz would bring back a little life to my lungs. Which it did. But it was the combination of the three ingredients* that had me entranced.

Though not a new one to me in food, I had never before drank lavender. After that day, I was addicted.

They used Monin syrup, but, being a try-it-DIY-first kind of lady, I bought up some lavender flowers and made my own simple syrup, which I then used to make those fizzy drinks.
With plenty of the purple syrup stored in the fridge, I thought how lovely it tastes over lemon pound cake.

And so I made one. I've always wondered if a pound cake** would work well if baked in layer cake pans versus the standard bundt or loaf pans traditionally called for. This seemed like a good-as-any time to try it out.

I decided on baking a standard recipe for a lemon-scented version in my 5" tester pan, as well as an 8" round pan. Lo and behold, it worked beautifully. I did start checking for doneness much earlier than the recipe indicated and, after about 40 minutes, pulled the golden, fragrant cakes from the oven. Once out of the pans, I soaked the still-warm cakes in the lavender syrup.

Lavender Simple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tbsp. dried lavender flowers

Combine all three ingredients in a small sauce pan and slowly bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the syrup into a small bowl set in an ice bath and let cool completely, then bottle and—very important—store in the fridge. It should keep indefinitely.

And in case you're interested:

*South of France in a Glass
Put a few cubes of ice into a tall glass then add the juice of one lemon, about 2 tbsp. of the lavender syrup (or to your taste), and fill the glass with sparking water.

Take a sip and I swear, you'll think you're in the South of France...if only for one, blissful moment. It's also brilliant with vodka or with lime and gin.

**The pound cake originated in England in the early 18th century, and was named as such because it contained one pound each butter, sugar, eggs, and flour—an easy recipe to remember for those who could not read or lacked measurement tools.

3 comments:

steph- whisk/spoon said...

oh my gosh...that must have been wonderful! and good on ya for making a round pound cake!

Gina said...

This sounds wonderful - and all of these bloggers using lavender are going to make me give in and try it again! :) The syrup with a pound cake sounds so delicious! As does the adult beverage version!

Rebecca said...

Oh, yum. Thank you for this.