Looking to bake a rose or lavender flavored chocolate cake.
October 21, 2008 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recipes and/or tips for baking with rose or lavender. In particular, I'm interested in making a chocolate cake with rose flavoring. Or lavender as a backup.

I know there's rosemilk available out there somewhere, and that there are ways of incorporating rose or lavender flavors in baking, but I haven't found any recipes to that effect. I would love suggestions for how to tweak classic recipes to add either of these flavors, or completely new recipes that incorporate them. Also looking for online places to buy the harder-to-find ingredients.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I've made really delicious lavender shortbread using this recipe and just directly substituting lavender for rosemary. As long as you don't mind leaf bits in your baked goods, in my experience you can pretty much just throw some chopped up lavender in the dough, mix it in, and proceed as planned- I've done this with other shortbread recipes and scones too.
posted by version control at 8:38 AM on October 21, 2008

By rosemilk perhaps you mean rosewater?

There is also a kind of confection, almost jam-like, made from rose petals and sugar for which I don't have an English name handy. Apart from being excellent on its own, it can probably be used wherever one uses jam - I've had it baked in an improvised cake with excellent results. Try a Bulgarian, Greek or Middle-Eastern place for ingredients, Bulgaria in particular is famous for rose-related products.
posted by ghost of a past number at 8:43 AM on October 21, 2008

posted by caddis at 8:48 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Friends of mine own this lavender farm. There are some recipes on the site, and I'm sure if you emailed Andrea she would provide you with chocolate cake tips.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:51 AM on October 21, 2008

Turkish and Persian/Iranian food both feature rosewater heavily, mostly in sweets. There are a a lot of recipes on the 'net, but you could just start using it as a flavoring, much like vanilla. You will want to use a bigger measure of rosewater than you would vanilla extract - I find that the flavor is pretty pervasive and actually unpleasantly perfume-like when too strong, though, so don't use too much. The florals go really nicely with lemon and citrus, and rich nuts, and with dairy - a creme anglaise flavored with rosewater would be really nice. A rich cake or ice cream could be good showcases for the flavor, too.
posted by peachfuzz at 8:53 AM on October 21, 2008

Uh, I totally missed that you were looking for cake recipes.

Instead of having the floral flavor compete with the chocolate in the cake itself, how about making a very moist, dark chocolate cake, and filling it with a rosewater- or lavender-flavored cream?
posted by peachfuzz at 8:55 AM on October 21, 2008

Bittman featured a sweet almond-milk couscous this week with rosewater this week, which I've been eating up yum for breakfast.

Lavender goes really well in lemonade, too, and this Lavender Polenta cake is quite good. I like to roast figs in lavender honey and serve them with ricotta.

Basically, adding lavender to things with honey or citrus as a base flavor works really well, and as noted above, it stands in nicely for rosemary in baked goods. It tends to be a heady spice, though, so I would suggest using a little less when you substitute (even though rosemary is also pretty heady stuff).
posted by crush-onastick at 8:57 AM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

What peachfuzz said, use the rosewater for a cream filling. Delicious and simple.
posted by mandal at 9:05 AM on October 21, 2008

I agree with peachfuzz- chocolate overpowers rose, unless you've made a homemade rosepetal infusion (which is much stronger flavored than rosewater). But rosewater in chocolate cake is very subtle and most people don't taste it. Lavender works- it's a pretty powerful scent/flavor.

I would make a chocolate cake with a vanilla-rose frosting, myself. If I had rose petals, I would simmer those in the milk I used for the cake or frosting (this works very well for ice cream, pudding and custard, too).
posted by oneirodynia at 9:35 AM on October 21, 2008

Lavender sugar can be used in pretty much any recipe.
posted by goo at 1:10 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

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