Where has this year gone? I can’t believe the 4th of July is next week, and that means 2012 is almost half over. I also realized that I hadn’t made anything for What’s Baking, so I had to get on it, pronto.
This month’s host is Jill of JBean Cuisine, who asked us to bake with fresh herbs. I was hoping to receive some herbs in our biweekly CSA box, but I was left disappointed (I did get some gorgeous produce, fruit, eggs and cheese though).
My husband and I went to a local farmer’s market and I went through each vendor’s booth to see what fresh herbs they had available. I saw cilantro, mint, parsley and basil. I was hoping to pick up some rosemary so I could bake a rosemary focaccia, but I guess that will have to wait until next time. I decided on a bunch of basil since I could use part of it to throw into pasta.
Although I know that strawberry and basil is a popular flavor combination, we actually forgot to buy strawberries that week! Oops. I went online to look for other flavors that would work well in a dessert and came across this lemon basil cake on Suburban Spoon.
I’m glad I added the extra lemon juice into the cake because I love lemon cakes, and I thought that 1/2 cup of fresh basil would be too powerful. I was right – the lemon juice balances out the basil so that the cake doesn’t taste too herb-y. This wasn’t my favorite cake, but it was still good and I’m glad I tried it.
Lemon basil cake
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened
- 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract found at food specialty stores - I used 2 Tablespoons of lemon zest and added the juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 and 1/2 cups mixed berries such as raspberries and blackberries
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer on medium speed, until creamy. Add the eggs, basil, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Beat until blended.
- Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, alternating with the buttermilk and beating on low speed until smooth.
- Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and cool completely.
- For the glaze, mix the powdered sugar with the lemon juice and zest. Spread or drizzle over the cooled cake.
- Place the cake on a serving plate and top with the berries.