Jewels:I have never had a backyard or garden, so I have always done my herb growing on my balcony or right in my kitchen. I have found though that all herbs die after a while – even when I gently plant them into a little pot and give them love and water frequently. So I was happy to find out about The Gardians plant kit that comes with a plant box and adorable little herb plugs: rosemary, basil, thyme, parsley….
Planting them took about 94 seconds. Easy peasy and super pretty. Now with some water and patience I started watching my food grow. A few weeks later I considered myself a legit horticulturist because of the massive herbal plants my little baby herbs had grown into. So I started wondering about creative recipes I could come up with. Luckily Liz had done her own herb growing and already had an idea up her sleeve.
Liz:When I think of basil I think of mediterranean food and Italy. Tomatoes and mozzarella. Pizza and pasta. I don’t really connect it with anything sweet to be honest. But why not anyway? So when we got asked to test the herb kit from The Gardians and possibly create a recipe, I thought of challenging Jewels with a rather unusual recipe. Since herbs are traditionally used for savory dishes, I thought of a lemon cake, infused with the taste of basil. And instead of butter, I used olive oil. First I was skeptical, but when my kitchen was filled with the scent of basil & lemons my hopes went high that just maybe I might have created a beautiful dessert with basil. Although the basil-taste is not as intense as when it is used freshly, it is still there after baking and gives the lemon cake a new twist. So tasty!
Sweet Basil & Lemon Cake
180 g flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
finely grated zest of 2 organic lemons
125 g sugar
100 ml plain yoghurt
juice of 1/2 a lemon
115 ml olive oil
10 g finely chopped basil
275 g cream cheese
50 g powdered sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
Some basil leaves for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius. Grease a small baking tin (18 cm diameter) and set aside. Mix flower, baking powder, ground vanilla and salt in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl mix the lemon zest with the sugar. Add yoghurt, lemon juice, olive oil, eggs and finely chopped basil and whisk. While whisking add the flour mixture spoon by spoon until it’s a well-blended dough. Pour half of the dough into the baking tin and bake 25-30 minutes. Let the cake cool and repeat with the rest of the dough so that you have two small cakes.
For the frosting mix the cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice. When both cakes are cooled place the first one on a plate and spread frosting on top of the cake, place the second cake on top and spread more frosting along the sides. Decorate with basil leaves.
This post is sponsored by The Gardians.