Maybe it's all those months I spent not eating sugar.
That was terrible.
Also I'm taking a cake class! I made this cake in my cake class.
Have you seen a rhododendron before?
I'd never seen one until I moved to Oregon. They don't grow in Utah, where I'm from. Too dry and hot (drool).
It may be moist and cool here all year round, but the rhodies almost make it worth it. Big sprays of blossoms covering ten foot trees.
So I made some out of gum paste, and stuck them on a cake.
The cake isn't rhododendron flavored (poisonous!), but I wanted to do something floral so I went with chamomile.
The taste is mild but very lovely and soothing.
This is a cake to eat before you go to bed.
But then, what cake isn't?
Rhododendron Chamomile Cake (inspired by Joy the Baker Cookbook)
Makes 1 double layer 9 inch cake
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 pinches of salt
6 tablespoons dried chamomile (I got mine from tea bags)
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9x2 inch cake pans.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pinches of salt, and chamomile leaves. Mix on medium speed until the mixture is slightly coarse and sandy. This takes about 5 minutes.
While the mixture beats, in a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla extract.
Pour half of the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Pour in the remaining milk mixture, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat for 1 minutes, until well blended.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 17-25 minutes (I know that's a big range, mine took longer than I expected though), or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pan to cool completely before frosting.
For frosting I used this buttercream coated with fondant.