When my brothers see that I've been baking, their usual question is "just what have you made this time?"
Knowing I'm unlikely to answer with the simple "chocolate cake", the answer usually involves something a little more unusual and creative.
Playing with new flavours I haven't cooked with before is something I really enjoy.
My basil and raspberry tarts were another of my slightly experimental recipes that thankfully turned out to be delicious!
This lavender cake has a beautifully subtle flavour accompanied by a sticky blueberry jam and creamy white chocolate frosting.
2tbsp fresh lavender florets (picked off the stalk and chopped finely)
350g self raising flour
350g caster sugar
350 soft slightly salted butter
2tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
1tbsp lemon juice
250g icing sugar
250g soft unsalted butter
200g white chocolate
Fresh lavender florets
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.
Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Gradually add in the eggs one at a time and then whisk in the milk.
Add in the flour and baking powder and whisk again until fully incorporated.
Once mixed, fold in the fresh lavender with a large metal spoon.
Grease two large circular cake tins with some soft butter and line with baking paper. Pour the cake mixture evenly into the two tins and spread with a knife to the edge of the tins.
Bake in the preheated oven for around 25-30 minutes until golden brown and springy.
A skewer, when inserted into the cake, should come out clean.
Remove from the tins and cool the cakes on a wire rack.
Meanwhile make the blueberry jam:
Add the blueberries to a small pan along with the sugar and one dessert spoon of cold water.
Put over a medium heat until it begins to simmer. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes until it starts to thicken.
Once molten and thicker, add the lemon juice, stir and remove from the heat.
In order to set the jam quickly, cool it in the freezer, uncovered, for about 15-30 minutes in a small bowl.
To make the frosting; cream together the icing sugar and soft butter in a mixing bowl with an electric whisk.
Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate over a medium heat in a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.
Once melted, cool completely and then whisk into the butter mixture.
Once the cakes are completely cool and the jam is set, use a sharp bread knife to even out the cake halves to make them a level height.
Using a palette knife, spread a thin layer of frosting over one half of the cake.
Cover this with a generous layer of blueberry jam. (I use a thin layer of frosting here to stop the jam from seeping into the cake and making it too liqiud.)
Decorate however you wish. I topped mine with a generous handful of fresh blueberries and some more lavender florets.