Sour Cream Pound Cake with Lavender Peaches

There is something about lavender that just calms me.  Basically from when I wake up in the morning until I hit the pillow at night, I am running.  Yes, it does seem some days that I am running a marathon day after day.  There are very few things that actually get me to stop and breath deeply, when I am not in yoga class – and lavender is one of them.

I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, and couldn’t wait to make it.  I was tempted to go outside and harvest my own lavender, but we were camping one weekend – and on the way home stopped at this farm stand.  They had fresh lavender all ready for baking, so I bought a package.  At that point I had no excuses not to make this.  The cake was fabulous – buttery and rich, with a deep vanilla flavor – but it was the peaches that made the entire dessert.  First of all – the lavender smell filled my house with such calmness, it was incredible.  My entire family loved this dessert – in fact, most of the time I share my goodies with the neighbors – this was wasn’t allowed to leave the house – yes, it was that good – even 2 days later…

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Lavender Syrup and Peaches

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dried lavender blossoms
  • 4 medium firm but ripe peaches, pitted, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

Preparation

Cake

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325 degrees.  Butter an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4-inch metal loaf pan.  Dust pan with flour; tap out excess.  Sift 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl.  Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl;scrape in seeds from vanilla bean (reserve bean for lavender syrup).  Using an electric mixer, beat sugar mixture until fluffy.  Add egg, egg white, and vanilla extract;  beat until mixture is pale and thick, about 2 minutes.  Beat in sour cream.  Add flour mixture; beat just until blended.  Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. 

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 56-58 minutes.  Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes.  Turn cake out, then turn top side up.  Cook completely.

Lavender Syrup and Peaches

Combine 2 1/4 cups water, sugar, lavender and reserved vanilla bean in a saucepan.  Boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat; cover and let steep 10 minutes.  Strain syrup into medium bowl; discard lavender.  Pour 2 tablespoons lavender syrup into small bowl; reserve for whipped cream.  Cover and chill.  Return remaining syrup to same saucepan; add peaches and lemon juice and bring to boil.  Reduce heat; simmer about 5 minutes.  Transfer peaches to bowl.  Boil syrup in pan until reduced to 1 cup, 12 to 14 minutes.  Pour over peaches.  Chill uncovered 2 hours.

Beat cream and 2 tablespoons reserved syrup in medium bowl to soft peaks.  Slice cake.  Serve with peaches, syrup, and cream.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Sour Cream Pound Cake with Lavender Peaches

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