February 5, 2016
Lavender Cream Vanilla-Bean Cake with Honey-Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 3 (6 by 2-inch) round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
Whisk together the milk, egg whites, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With mixer running at low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs.
Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add remaining 1/2 cup of the milk mixture, increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 20 seconds longer. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and smooth the tops using a rubber spatula.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 25 to 27 minutes. Cool in the pan on baking rack for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the side of the pan and invert cakes onto the baking rack, removing parchment paper, and let cool completely, about 45 minutes.
For the Lavender Simple Syrup: Combine the water, sugar, and lavender and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit either for 2 minutes or up to 8 hours before straining lavender through a fine sieve. Pour syrup into a well-sealed container and refrigerate.
For the lemon-lavender curd filling: Combine yolks, lemon juice, and sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan; whisk to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon - making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl - until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes, and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove saucepan from heat. Add salt, lavender oil, and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour and up to a day.
Pour the chilled cream and confectioners sugar into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Gently add 1 cup of the cooled lemon-lavender curd and whip until the ingredients are emulsified and soft peaks form (2-4 minutes). Cover and chill until ready to use.
For the honey-vanilla buttercream: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together.
Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer with paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool (this takes at least 7 to 9 minutes of mixing) then add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes
Add the vanilla and honey and continue mixing until combined
Using a serrated knife, slice each cake round in half through the diameter.
Place the first halved cake round on a cake stand and using a pastry brush, generously apply the lavender syrup.
Fill a pastry bag (or Ziploc with one of the corners snipped off) with the buttercream, and pipe along the circumference of the cake. This creates a border within each layer to prevent the filling from spilling out.
Add about 1/3 cup of the lemon-lavender curd filling, and smooth out with an off-set spatula
Add the next halved cake, and continue the same process until you’ve reached the top, making sure that all layers are laying flat and are in line with the others below.
Once you’ve topped the cake with the final layer, add a generous amount of the honey-vanilla buttercream and begin frosting, starting from the top and working your way down the sides of the cake.
Once completely covered, gently scrape off excess frosting as smoothly as possible and place cake in freezer for 10-20 minutes. This creates a crumb-coating, sealing in pesky cake crumbs and preventing them from getting into the frosting and also allows to you to finish frosting the cake with ease.
After 20 minutes, remove from freezer and finish frosting with your remaining buttercream. Decorate however your heart desires and voilà!
Total Time min