Lavender Chiffon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dried lavender
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup unflavored vegetable oil (canola or safflower)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest from 1 lemon
2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used all purpose flour with no problem)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, separated
7 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)
Berries for decoration
To make the lavender chiffon cake:
Cut a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and cut out a hole in the middle to fit the center tube of the pan. This cake is baked in an ungreased pan because greasing the pan would keep the batter from rising and gripping the sides of the pan as the cake bakes.
Preheat the oven to 325F.
In a large measuring cup or medium bowl,combine the oil, water, vanilla and eggyolks. Whisk until well combined.
Over a large piece of parchment paper or bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. Add 1 cup of sugar, the dried lavender, lemon zest and salt and stir together.
Make a well in the center of the mixture by pushing the dry ingredients towards the side of the bowl. Add the oil mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir together until thoroughly combined.
Place the egg whites in the grease free bowl of an electric mixer or in a large grease free bowl. Using the wire whip attachment or a hand held mixer, whip the egg whites on medium speed until they are frothy. Add the cream of tartar. Slowly sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue whipping until the egg whites hold glossy and firm but not stiff, peaks, about 5 minutes.
Fold the egg whites into the cake batter in 3 to 4 stages, blending thoroughly after each addition. Transfer the batter to the tube pan. Use the rubber spatula to smooth and even the top.
Bake for 1 hour, or until the cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.(Mine took 45-50 minutes).
Remove the pan from the oven and invert it over a cooling rack onto its feet or over a funnel or a thin necked bottle. Let the cake hanf to cook completely. Don't set the pan on a cooling rack on its base. This will cause the cake to collapse onto itself.
Don't shake the cake out of the pan before it is cool. Once the cake is cool. use a thin blade knife or flexible blade spatula to run across the outer edge and the inside tube to help release the cake from the pan. Invert the cake onto a rack, then reinvert onto a serving plate.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick ( 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1.5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Using a stand mixer,fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract.