Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Lavender Teacake

While flipping through the stack of cookbooks that I have borrowed from the library, I chanced upon this quick & easy-to-make cinnamon teacake recipe from this book. I love to browse through cookbooks from The Australian Women's Weekly series. The recipes are simple to follow and most of the time they are accompanied with beautiful illustrations...every single photo is shouting for my attention! After looking through the list of ingredients and the nutrition information, I was pretty set to give the recipe a go. The total amount of fat for each serving is 9g, which is even lower than that of a single cookie featured in the same book. It makes me feel less guilty to bake it , as I usually won't stop at just one slice of cake.

As with coffee cakes, in the past, I used to think that tea cakes are cakes made with tea as one of the key ingredients. Silly me! Now I know, they are just cakes or even breads served for afternoon tea. Although coffee cakes are either cakes that are made with coffee or referred to as any cakes that are served with coffee, a teacake could mean different thing to people living in different regions. In Australia, a teacake is typically referred to as a sweet cake made with flour, eggs, fat and sugar. They are sometimes sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and caster sugar, and are often served warm from the oven, with tea. Since my kids have yet to acquire the taste of cinnamon, I tweaked the recipe a little...I left out the cinnamon and only sprinkled the cake with caster sugar. To add flavour, I added in a teaspoons of dried lavender. So, here's my version of a Lavender Teacake:

It proves to be a very easy cake to prepare. I made it with just a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon. Of course you can use a manual whisk, or leave it to your electric mixer to do the job. If you are going 'manual', do make sure the butter is very soft before you start working on it...unless you don't mind working on your biceps at the same time. I got the cake into the oven within 20mins, which was 5 mins longer than the preparation time stated in the recipe. I will have to learn to be more efficient.

Although the cake was not as moist compared to cakes made with 'moisturising-agents" such as yogurt, buttermilk, etc, I thought the taste was very delectable. The cake was rather light and I like the nice fragrant of the lavender. It's just a little on the sweet side for me...which is mainly due to the generous sprinkling of caster sugar on the cake surface. On hind sight, I should have added some lemon zest to kick up the flavour a little.


Here's a slice of cake for all of you who have taken the time to leave me your heart-warming comments and encouraging words after I published my earlier post. I'm truly touched by the kind words of encouragements...it certainly boost up my morale, and made me see the light at the far end of the tunnel. Even if you didn't leave a comment, I thank you for taking time to read and come over to my humble blog :)

From your comments, I got to know that a couple of you have actually picked up the hobby of baking after reading my blog :D It also brings me great joy to learn that some of you had started making homemade breads following the recipes I have posted here. The one and only concern that I have is that, I hope I am not the blind leading the blind. Till now, I do not know whether I am doing the kneading of the dough correctly :')

So, what are you waiting for? Go grab your spoon and enjoy!

I mean, go grab your wooden spoon and start baking!



Ingredients
(makes one 20cm cake, serves 8)

60g butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
1/3 cup (80ml) milk
1 teaspoon dried lavender*

topping:
15g butter, melted
some caster sugar

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degC. Grease and flour side of a 20cm (8") round pan, line base with parchment paper. Sift self-raising flour, set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, with a wooden spoon or a manual whisk, beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add in the egg gradually, beat well each time egg is added. Add in vanilla extract, mix well.
  3. Add in shifted flour and milk, stir with a spatula until smooth. Stir in dried lavender.
  4. Spread batter into prepared pan, bake for 25mins till the cake turns golden or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Stand cake in pan for 5 mins. Turn onto cooling rack, brush top with melted butter and sprinkle with caster sugar. (*Note: If desired, omit dried lavender, instead, mix 1 tablespoon of caster sugar with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture on top of cake after brushing the surface with the melted butter.)
Recipe source: The Australian Women's Weekly,Food We Love

49 comments:

  1. Wow.. Lavender Tea-Cake.....Yum Yum.... this is just nice to go with my Lavender Baked Cod Fish.. hehehe... A Day for Lavender Dish & Bake... :p

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  2. I am glad that you see light at the end of the tunnel. Hang on there, you need to see the darkness of one being to see the goodness of another.

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  3. HI HBB
    I'm a little late....but don't give up! Your blogging has been inspiring for my baking and my english!! I started doing cheesecake and my first bread loaf...and my husband refer to you like "the singaporean one, the one I trust" because everything I choose from your blog turns like your picture!!!and it's yummie like one could imagine. Don't forget blogging is a hobby, a new way to make friends and to share different opinion in the different part of the world. Sometimes could be frustrating, but the idea that your mood reach everyone is reading so well, I think it's fantastic! Thanks for sharing with us your recipes and your feelings. (I need to leave more comments to improve my poor english!!)
    take care
    Martina
    (and now I'm going to take the wooden spoon and bake the new lavender teacake, without lavender because it's impossible for me to find it out in the local store!) :)P

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  4. Yum! That looks lovely!
    I once made Lavender cake, only I put way too much lavender in it and I got very sleepy :) I suppose it would make a wonderful bedtime snack with a small glass of milk <3

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  5. So good to read what you have written. I will always support you and visit your blog. You are linked to me anyway :-)

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  6. eh.. where to get lavander for baking? those meant for tea will work?

    how about rose cake?? keke maybe should try it out.

    but need to simmer the flowers to enhance the fragrance??

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  7. Hi HHB,

    I love ur blog for sure and I took to baking buns and bread aso thru your blog...remember the fabulous garlic buns you posted up some time back, since then I have baked it many times :)))and each time the texture of the dough becomes better. I knead with hands without a bread machine and I have learned a lot from your blog. Thanks.

    I would like to bake this teacake but it is hard to get dry lavender over here :(

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  8. Ellena, I have not tried cooking with lavender...lavender baked cod fish sounds good :)

    Precious Momemnts, I would rather see it at a different perspective...the act of kindness of one person can significantly improve another person's day.
    Your kind comments definetly brightens up my day :D


    Hi Martina, your wrote good English, but I will love to hear from you more often! You can leave out the lavender and use cinnamon instead.

    Kitti, I only added one teaspoon as I am worried that the cake will taste like shampoo ;)

    Family First, thanks for your support and for linking me up!

    Sunsweet, my cyberfriend gave me a pack of dried lavender from Hong Kong. You can get them at Phoon Huat. I have not tried baking with rose leh.

    Hi Elinluv, thanks! You can leave out the dry lavender, the original recipe uses only cinnamon as topping.

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  9. Hi HHB!! I have not drop by for quite awhile!! I'm currently busy with studies! Fancy studying at my age! I missed baking and your blog. Sad to hear about the copywrite thing. Anyway, I was just dropping to say hello and hope all is well with you. Ok, now back to my studies...Argh!!

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  10. Hi, your cake looks yummy.May i know where to get dried lavender for making cakes/cookies?

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  11. dear Serena, thanks for popping by :) It's great to be able to study again! All the best in your studies :D

    Hi Chris, I have seen it at Phoon Huat (the branch at Hougang), you may want to call up to check whether they have it. Hope you can get them.

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  12. Hi, i love your blog and it is thru' your blog that encourages me to start baking after lay off baking for ages. Yesterday itself i tried your Lavender Teacake but it turned out quite hard. May be because i used organic sugar which is rather coarsely and it took me quite long to cream it with the butter. I didn't have Lavender so i used cinnamon powder and the smell of cinnamon is fantastic. What do you think of using organic sugar instead of castor sugar? Hope to try your other recipes. Thank you for your generous sharing and i must confess that before i start work in the morning, i must visit your blog.
    Christie

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  13. Hi HHB,
    wow another version of lavender.
    I have yet tried the lavender cookies and here comes the lavender teacakes.
    Well looks like i need to speed up, hope those dried lavender in my cupboard could wait hehehe
    Keep on blogging yah? I love to read your blog!
    cheers

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  14. Hi HMM...another nice recipe! i have some lavender sitting in my fridge, will give it a try when i recover from my flu!

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  15. Hi HMM, thanks for the info.Hougang is kinda far from where i stay will try to check out the JE branch one of these days.

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  16. Hello! I have a rather "silly" question, having to do with terminology ..... Since I didn't start cooking or baking till I moved to the US from Singapore, I'm not familiar with the term "Castor Sugar". Is it regular (white) granulated sugar, or powdered sugar (as we call it here, in the US)?
    Again, I'm in deep admiration of you and your attempts to cook / bake things from scratch. I can't imagine doing that in Singapore, as we were just there visiting family for a few weeks.
    -fay

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  17. That slice looks so tempting, HHB! Sorry I've been busy with Hari Raya baking and not been around much; I missed that last post. I hope you don't stop blogging and sharing. It's a pity that some bloggers do not adopt the necessary etiquettes when it comes to recipes, and in some cases, even photos.

    I do hope, however, that you continue sharing your lovely creations with the rest of us who appreciate your generosity, and constantly wish we could somehow taste from the screen :P

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  18. Hi HHM,

    Wow! Looks yummy! I've always love the smell of lavender, but never tried any food containing lavender, wonder how it tastes like...:)

    Thanks, I will read the instructions manual for the bread machine b4 I get started. Honestly,I've been feeling moody lately, cos I was away for holiday in Perth not long and came back home with a shock! The main power switch tripped! My whole fridge & house smells terribly.... nearly fainted when I first open the fridge :( It still smells now, been cleaning for the past days already. Also, had to throw away many of my baking ingredients... so sad :( , sorry, think I am too long winded too... LOL

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  19. HiHi

    Me again...:) Can I have yr email address? I would like to share an interesting fruit cake recipe with you.... :) I just bought a food magazine from perth, and saw this interesting recipe... think you might like this! :) cheyenne

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  20. Hi Christie, it's great to hear that you have rekindled your passion for baking :)
    I do not know about organic sugar...are they very coarse? You will have to cream the butter & sugar till the mixture become very pale and fluffy before your proceed with the next step. Could it also be due to your oven temperature?

    My@addictions, Peng, I hope you will try it soon :)

    Hi Chris, hope you can find it at the branch near you.

    Hi Fay, I won't cook or bake anything from scratch if I am working full time ;)
    Over here sugar that's labelled as castor sugar is very fine but not in powder form, whereas icing sugar is almost like powder (flour-like). You can go the SIS sugar (common brand here) website to take a look at the description (http://www.sissugar.com/consumer.asp). Hope you will be able to get something similar over at your location.

    hi ovenhaven, thanks for being so understanding :)

    Hi Cheyenne, so sorry to hear about the 'disaster'! I will be very very moody if this were to happen to me :( You can try put some baking soda in a bowl and leave it in your fridge, it can help to remove the smell.

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  21. I'm been wanting to bake lavender-baked cookies or cakes but not sure how receptive my audience would be. :P Noentheless I've bookmarked this recipe, will try it. :)

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  22. Hi HHM...guess wat...i try out ur recipe already :D is fantastic! thanks for sharing..

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  23. HiHi,

    Just to check, is baking soda the same as bicarbonate of Soda? cos I have left bicarbonate of Soda inside, but it doesn't seems to help.... think the smell in my fridge is too strong already...will need time...:( Hope it'll be fine soon...

    If not, It'll be too depressing. Hope to start on my baking soon... esp.. Bread...I love yr garlic bread... looks so tempting! My collegues agree too... asking me to remove the wall paper.. cos it makes them hungry... :)

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  24. Hi
    I just ate a nice dessert made by my Filippino maid and thought it might be nice to share with you. It is really easy to make.

    Ingredients:
    1) Mix 1 part sweet condensed milk with 3 parts liquid cream.
    2) Slice thinly mangoes (or can also use slightly green bananas).
    3) Square plain biscuits (like Khong Guan) - the more flaky and fluffy, the better.

    Steps:
    A) Using a box, preferably square or rectangular with a flat base), scoop a few spoonfuls of 1) to cover the base.

    B) Cover with a layer of the biscuits.

    C) Next, lay a layer of the mangoes/bananas. Then scoop a mixture 1) to cover.

    Repeat steps A), B) and C) 2 times. At the top, break some biscuit crumbs to cover (ala oatmean style). Cover box and freeze in freezer.

    Cut and serve. The complete product resembles a fruit tart.

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  25. keke, Australian Women's Weekly series of cookbooks are also my favourite .. like you say, they are easy to follow, simple recipes and most impt, tempting pictures. I simply love cookbooks with big colorful pictures. Sometimes, after looking at some of your bakes, I went to look for those books too, but some of them without much pictures so I did not borrow thus 常常走宝。keke。 Luckily can still find the 宝 through your blog. Thanks.

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  26. Sorry, borrow your comment column to ask you question. The recipe that I used for cheese muffin stated "grated cheese" as ingredients. I wanna ask, with your experience, any idea what kind of grated cheese should I use? Those "fresh" grated cheddar cheese found in chilled shelves, or those dried grated cheese ?

    Any comments?

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  27. Hi Aimei, you can try this cake with lavender, I am quite certain that you will like it :)

    Peng, glad to hear that this recipe works for you too!

    Hi Cheyenng, they mean the same thing. Do let me know after you tried out the garlic bread recipe, hope you will like it too :)

    Thanks Pui Teng and your helper for sharing the recipe :D

    Sherlyn, I am sorry, I have no idea whether it is referring to freshly grated ones or the dried ones leh??

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  28. Hi HHB, I was very inspired by your blog and your baking that I took to baking again. I had also created a blog and cited your blog (with the link). Hoped that you won't mind. Dexter.

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  29. Hi HHB,

    I'm going to use your recipe to bake this Lavendar Cake today :-)
    I'm one of those who hv picked up baking as a hobby since I came across your beautiful blog. Your steps to each recipe is so simple & straight forward that a beginner like me can do it without much problem. :-) You are my shi fu (master) in baking and also your photos are so well taken compared to mine :( So don't stop blogging ok my shifu :-)

    cheers
    esther

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  30. Hi! I am just starting up my blog, and I wondered how you framed your photographs like that? Are you using a special program?
    Your site is beautiful!!!
    Best,
    Kelsey
    kelseykakes.blogspot.com

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  31. Hi Dexter, I am glad to hear that you have picked up baking again, and thanks for linking me up :)

    Esther, nah, I am no shi fu hor! There are still lots of things I do not know, I consider myself a novice :D

    Hi KelseyKates, thanks for visiting :) I used the photo editing program within the Flickr.com site to add the frame and text. Hope this helps :)

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  32. where have you been all my life ? your site rocks everything looks so delicious and tempting it was so unfair but so beautiful thank you for having me on your site . if you want you can email me.

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  33. What a lovely sounding cake! Very delicate and delicious sounding!

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  34. That looks so tender!
    I have baked with lavender only once so far, so I'm interested in new recipes with it. This is calling out my name!

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  35. Wow, this looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  36. This sounds good. I have yet to eat anything made with lavender. I seem to be saying this a lot lately! Anyhow, photos looked terrific as well.

    Thanks for passing on the recipe!
    ~ingrid

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  37. Hi HHB,

    I tried baking lavender teacake. Didn't have lavender so just sprinkle with icing sugar & cinnamon. Was nice! But my cake didn't bind well..was loose..lots of cake crumbs. Any idea why? May I know how shld my batter look like? Smooth without crumbs or lumpy? I just folded in the milk & flour w spatula and didn't whisk further cos afraid might over-stir. So my batter was lumpy and the top cracked when baking. Any suggestions? Thanks!!

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  38. Hi My Family, the method for making this cake is just like a butter cake. I think you may not have cream the butter/sugar mixture enough. You will need to beat the butter and sugar until very creamy and fluffy before adding int the egg. As for mixing in the flour, you will need to Fold the flour into the mixture with a wooden spoon or a spatula. The mixture should be very smooth, not lumpy at all. Hope this helps :) Incidentally, I just baked a lavender pound cake this afternoon :D

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  39. Hi HHB,

    what kind of milk you normally use in your recipes? Is there any substitute if i don't have any fresh milk in my fridge?
    Thank you!

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  40. Hi Jas, I usually use Marigold's HL low-fat milk. You can take a look at this site: http://joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html
    for the milk substitute. Hope this helps.

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  41. Hi happy homebaker,
    I would like to find out if icing sugar and caster sugar is the same?

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  42. Hi Grace, they are different. Icing sugar is very fine and looks like flour, whereas caster sugar is extra fine granulated sugar.

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  43. Dear HHB,

    I chanced upon your blog while surfing for a recipe for peanut cookies. Love it. Thank you for this lavender teacake recipe, it was timely for me to see it as I got all the ingredients ready in my pantry and I got time to make it! The truth is I could never get a cake recipe right, my final product was never far away from being too hard, too dry or underbaked! For the first time and with this lavender teacake recipe, I finally got a cake, a delicious cake! My parents and I love it! Thank you, you gave me back my cake baking confidence! Not only did I make this lavender teacake today, I also made some peanut cookies. :o)

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  44. Hi!
    I did this cake and it turn out amazing! Thanks for sharing!
    XOXO

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  45. Hi HHB,

    I am one of those who got inspired by your blog and re-pick up baking back after a long break (especially after I start working).

    However, my baking skills are still far from yours. I followed some of your recipes and compared my bakes to your photos. Think I still have a lot to brush up.

    Invite your little baking fairy to pop by my place someday. Hahaha... :)

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  46. Hanushi, I hope you did not regret picking up baking again. Baking is very very addictive especially there are so many bloggers out there sharing wonderful recipes. You will realise very soon your waist line will go up up up ;)
    I started baking 4 years ago, you should have seen those things I made in my oldest posts. My photos were horrible and the bakes didn't look anywhere appealing! It was thru constant baking that I acquired some baking knowledge and skills, and all thru books and internet, everything is self taught. I am sure very soon your bakes will be better than mine. I have already sent my baking fairy to you, happy baking!

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  47. Hi HHB

    Thanks for your encouragement! :)

    I admit I am a bit slow and blur in learning. Your self-taught through books and internet and sharing with us on your blog will definitely serve as a good motivation!

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  48. Hi, is ur butter salted or unsalted? I can't get vanilla extract can I replace it with vanilla essence instead? Wat is the diff?
    Thks
    A new D-I-Y learning to bake stay home mum.

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  49. Hi sherene_ctong, I used salted butter for this recipe. You can use vanilla essence, the difference lies in the flavour and aroma.

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