Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chocolate Lavender Cake

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has a fresh, sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that is soothing and refreshing. Because it is the most versatile of all essential oils, no home should be without it. Lavender is an adaptogen, and therefore can assist the body when adapting to stress or imbalances. It is a great aid for relaxing and winding down before bedtime, yet has balancing properties that can also boost stamina and energy. Therapeutic-grade lavender may be used to soothe and cleanse common cuts, bruises, and skin irritations. Lavender may also be used to enhance the flavor of foods, which is what we're doing today!

This cake is very simple but its flavors are complex. You can also gussy it up with this delicious frosting recipe, dust some powdered sugar over the top or just plop a scoop of (low fat) vanilla ice cream next to it.

1 cup vanilla soy milk
2 drops therapeutic grade lavender essential oil (or 2 tbsp. dried lavender)
½ stick butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar (I use evaporated cane sugar)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
4 egg whites
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

Here’s what you do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add lavender to soy milk or, if using dried lavender, bring the milk and lavender to a boil in a small saucepan, let it steep for 5 minutes and strain, discarding lavender. Set milk aside.

Cream butter and sugar, then add lavender milk, baking powder, salt, egg whites, and vanilla extract; stir. Blend in cocoa and flour.

Pour into a greased 9-inch cake pan or spring form pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool before serving or applying frosting.

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