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Lemon, Lavender and Earl Grey Mini Cakes and Petit Fours

yield: 1 (13 x 9-inch) cake
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Special Equipment

  • an offset icing spatula
  • a 4 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (for the mini cakes)
  • a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (for the petit fours)

Ingredients

For the Lavender and Earl Grey Cake

    (makes one 13 x 9-inch cake, enough for 3 double-layer mini cakes and 12 petit fours)

    • 1 1/2 tablespoons loose leaf Earl Grey tea
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 teaspoons dried lavender
    • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
    • 3 large eggs
    • 3 tablespoons sour cream
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    For the Lemon and White Chocolate Ganache

      (makes about 1 1/2 cups)

      • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
      • 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
      • 5.5 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
      • 1/2 cup heavy cream
      • 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
      • 4 1/2 tablespoons (2.25 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 1-inch cubes
      • zest from one lemon
      • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

      Instructions

      For the Lavender and Earl Grey Cake

      • In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepot, combine 1/2 tablespoons loose leaf Earl Grey tea and 1 cup unsalted butter. Melt the butter over medium-low heat, using a heatproof rubber spatula to swirl the butter around to ensure even melting. Once the butter is completely melted, remove from heat and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a fine-mesh sieve over the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer and strain the tea leaves from the butter, using the rubber spatula to press gently on the tea leaves to get as much butter as possible. Discard the tea leaves and allow the infused butter to cool to room temperature or closeish.
      • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 (F). Prepare a 13 x 9-inch cake by spraying with cooking spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray as well.
      • In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoons dried lavender, 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.
      • Add 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon light corn syrup to the freestanding electric mixer bowl containing the tea-infused butter (from the 1st step). Fit your stand mixer with a paddle attachment and cream the butter, sugar and corn syrup on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
      • Whisk together 3 eggs, 3 tablespoons sour cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup, before pouring into the creamed butter and beating until smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and continue mixing until smooth.
      • Turn the mixer on its lowest speed and add the dry ingredients (from the 3rd step) in three batches. Mix the dry ingredients until just incorporated, before adding the next batch. Once the dry ingredients have been mixed in, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl before mixing for another 15 seconds.
      • Scrape the batter onto the prepared baking sheet. It will seem like it's too thick, but spread it evenly across the pan with the offset icing spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake bounces back when gently prodded with your finger. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool completely before using the cookie cutters to stamp out the mini cakes and petit fours.

      For the Lemon and White Chocolate Ganache

      • First, bloom the gelatin. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin over the surface of 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl. Let sit for 2-5 minutes, until the gelatin softens or "blooms".
      • Put 5.5 ounces finely chopped white chocolate in a medium, heatproof bowl and set aside.
      • Combine 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat the mixture just until it boils, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the bloomed gelatin until it is completely dissolved. Pour the cream over the white chocolate. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to stir the mixture in one direction, concentrating on the center, until the ganache is smooth and glistening. Add 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter and stir until the butter is completely melted. Once the butter is completely melted, add lemon zest and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and stir. Allow the ganache to set in the coolest part of our kitchen, stirring occasionally to release heat. It will seem like it's too thin, but it will thicken as it cools — be sure to use when it's still spreadable, about 45 minutes to 1 hour after you've made it.

      Notes

      Adapted from Sweet