Since I have been away from home for almost a year now, there are lots of things that happen in the lives of my friends and family which I have inevitably missed. I have known about the baby born or the announced engagement, but it is difficult to celebrate over the phone or e-mail. So this week I have spent some time celebrating. Not only am I celebrating the end of exams and my first year of seminary, but I am celebrating being with family! I have missed them so much and am especially happy to be able to spend some good time with my grandparents. I am also celebrating with my friends; the addition of babies to families, the changes in vocations, or even a good hug after a long absence.
I have made this cake four times in the past month. The first time I made it was a trial run; the successful cake was shared with several different friends from school. I then made it at an engagement celebration for two of our friends who are getting married this summer. I made it again almost as soon as I arrived home, and I made another today for some friends who recently had a baby.
Lavender Amaretto Pound Cake
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons lavender flowers
6 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon amaretto liqueur
1/3 cup water, boiling
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur
Preheat the oven to 325. Butter and flour a 14 cup bundt pan. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of almonds in the bottom of the pan. In a mini food processor or a blender, blend the lavender flowers with 1/2 cup of the sugar, until the lavender flowers are finely chopped. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the lavender sugar and remaining 2 1/2 cups of sugar, and beat on medium-high speed for seven minutes. Add the eggs, one at the time, beating until well combined. Add the flour and salt and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the almond extract and 1 teaspoon amaretto and mix until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
Bake for 1 hour, 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Meanwhile, combine the boiling water, sugar, and 1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
When the cake is done, let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Turn it out onto a wire rack with a plate or parchment paper below. Baste the top and sides of the cake with the amaretto syrup, leaving the crusty bottom of the cake dry.