A quiet Saturday afternoon in my apartment. A lull between birthday parties, between seasons. Springtime is coming, or it’s here – the raspberry plants are growing. The jasmine has buds and will bloom any second now. The mosquitoes are back, bit by bit.
When you cook a lot, you feel this pressure to always bring something homemade and fabulous. Showing up with just wine is better than bringing a store-bought cake. And when there’s a party, well, it’s just another excuse to test recipes on people.
There was only one egg left in the pantry, and the supermarket (half a block away) was too much of a bother. I decided to let the pantry inspire me, to come up with something unexpected. With springtime imminent, I thought of the bright flavors of the orange blossom water hiding in the back of the garde-manger, of the lavender flowers I bought years ago to make a delicious cocktail, of the violette liquer in the liquor cabinet.
The internet revealed a plethora of options, and I used this one to loosely base my experiment: One Egg Lemon Pound Cake. Most friends thought it was delicious, but one with a particularly keen palate asked me discreetly: “Are you sure this is fully cooked?” “It only has one egg,” I smiled, glad that somebody was there to keep me in check. The verdict: delicious, but a bit dense. Try for yourself!
Lavender Orange Blossom Cake
1 ½ cups flour (plus a sprinkle for the pan)
½ cup almond meal
¾ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup (115g) unsalted butter (plus a bit for the pan)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 pot (125g, 4.4 oz) of plain yogurt
¼ cup low fat cow’s milk
1 tablespoon orange blossom water (eau de fleur d’oranger)
1 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
Pre-heat the oven to 350F/175C. Grease a loaf pan with a bit of butter, and sprinkle some flour, patting it around to evenly coat the surface of the pan.
In a food processor blend the flour, almond meal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut the butter (softened) roughly into one-inch chunks and add to the mixer while it’s running at medium speed. Ensure that the butter is well incorporated; add the egg, yogurt, and milk. Add the orange blossom water and mix well.
Sprinkle the lavender blossoms along the bottom of the tart pan, and gently pour the cake batter atop.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning midway to ensure it cooks evenly. The cake will be golden brown on top when it’s done, and a toothpick tester should come out clean.