Lavender, Pistachio and Lime Cake

Lavender has been used since ancient times for medicinal uses, herbal baths and perfumes. However, the flower buds were also used in the kitchen, for both savory and sweet dishes.
While the use of the flower buds in savory dishes can seem more challenging to many, using them in desserts, jellies and jams is accepted more easily, as long as it is not overpowering.
This was my aim when I created the cake here. I used a small amount of lavender and balanced it with lime and lemon, and with the rich texture and flavor of pistachio nuts.
This tasty, dairy-free cake, has a wonderful texture, a subtle lavender and lime scent and nutty pistachios flavor. It is not too sweet and is the perfect cake for serving with herbal tea. Try it and enjoy.

* For best results, make sure to use culinary grade lavender, found at the spice section.
* Use the minimum amount of lavender, as otherwise the aroma will be overwhelming.

Makes: 1 X 10”(25cm) loaf pan
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 50-55 minutes

For the lavender sugar:
1 Tbs edible dried lavender buds
¼ cup sugar
For the cake:
½ cup mashed very ripe banana (from 1 large)
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbs honey (preferably lavender honey)
2 XL eggs
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs lime zest
½ cup oil
½ cup coarsely chopped natural pistachios
2 cups flour
1 Tbs baking powder
¼ tsp salt
For the glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
About 1 tsp lime juice
For garnish:
1 tsp edible dried lavender buds, lightly crushed
Thinly sliced lime zest, kept in ice water for 5 minutes and drained

1. Preheat the oven to 340F (170C). Brush the pan with oil and dust with a bit of flour. Keep in the fridge until using.
2. In a spice grinder, mix the lavender buds and ¼ cup sugar and process to a fine mixture.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, sugar, honey, eggs, lime and lemon juice, lime zest and oil. Add the pistachio and lavender sugar and mix. Add flour, baking powder and salt and whisk together.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out almost clean.
5. Let the cake cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, before turning it upside-down on a rack. Turn the cake again and let cool completely before adding the glaze.

6. The glaze: in a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar with a few drops of lime juice. Add more juice as needed, to form a thick glaze.

Pour over the cooled cake and garnish with lavender buds and sliced lime zest.
Let set before slicing.

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