finally perfecting a recipe that i’ve been working on for two plus years
neurotic: hey everyone! this isn’t going to be a long post – although i always say that and it ends up being longer than the bible – here we have another cake/breakfast post. i’m not really a breakfast person, although i love breakfast food, i don’t find myself hungry enough to eat a proper breakfast when i wake up and usually have a heavier meal around 10 in the morning instead of 6. it’s at that time that i eat breakfast, some might call that brunch, but for me it’s too early to call it brunch.
food: my friend, who doesn’t have the best green thumb, has a garden and recently offered me some thai basil, i had no idea what i would use thai basil for but i wanted to challenge myself. i googled and googled and after a while came to the conclusion that thai basil to lemon was the thyme to strawberries in terms of the herb/fruit world. then came the idea of how to use it, i tried a macaron recipe, but fucking arizona and this dry ass heat just messed it up – that’s another blog post conversation (and a long one at that) – i was then going to do a layer cake, but i’m far too lazy for a layer cake, and then settled on this recipe, i’m still not 100% sure how but it worked out.
i also added a streusel; i usually go for a crumble, but the cake was so light i wanted a light topping as well. the recipe calls for almond flour/meal; i have now found this everywhere from target to whole foods to sprouts. i prefer bob’s red mill almond flour solely because it’s what i’ve always used, but if you want to make it yourself that’s fine as well, you simply want slivered almonds and to grind it up for a bit first before adding your flour.
neurotic: this week has been a tough one for me, i’m sick again and this is the third time in just as many months that after my hormonal visitor comes and leaves i find myself in a terrible amount of chest pain, it’s not bad enough to where i can’t function, but bad enough to where i’m happy i usually have tons of comp hours and can take a day or two off. i can’t, however, just lay there and do nothing, i’d much rather just go to the hospital instead if that was the case, so i ended up making this cake and everything went right. this, as well, showed a pattern that i somehow do better in terms of recipe practice when i’m ill than when i’m healthy.
food: i opted for a lemon curd instead of zest because i want the lemon to hold its own against the basil. i fermented/infused (i’m not sure of the correct terminology) the basil instead of simply grinding it up, because i wanted a clean aesthetic to the cake and i hate bits and pieces of herb in my baked goods.
neurotic: back to the curd, i love lemons, but the acids in lemons don’t love baked goods. this is one of the few times i’m great at science, the acid will curdle the fat and protein and the liquid will dilute the cake. curd cancels out the acid and also eliminates a high majority of fluids which is better for baked goods.
i also finally, finally perfected this cake recipe. i always liked the recipe, but each and every time there was just something i wanted to be better, i realized that it needed more liquid, so i added more milk and boom! the most airy, tender cake; i also added baking soda instead of baking powder because apparently i didn’t know the difference and now i finally have the recipe i always wanted.
so here is the final result. i’m very happy with it; the streusel was the perfect nutty touch it needed. i hope you all enjoy the remainder of your day and week and thanks for stopping by!
Lemon Thai Basil Square Cake
Thai Basil Sugar
In a bowl, take the amount allotted portion for the recipe – 1 c. for Thai basil – and infuse the Thai basil into your sugar by inserting them into your sugar and letting it ferment for 24 hours.
2 – 3 lemons (juiced) ~ 1/4 c. |2 oz.| |58 g|
1/3 c. |65 g| sugar
4 egg yolks |80 g|
3 tbsp. |45 g| butter
In a small to medium size sauce pan, add about 1 to 2 inches of water and let the pan come to a boil. In a small to medium size metal bowl combine all of your ingredients.
Once the water is at a boil, over medium heat, take the metal bowl and place it on top of the sauce pot (warning: you want to make sure the water does not touch the pot; you want indirect heat, the steam should do the cooking). With a whisk, continuously stir your curd mixture until it has thicken, this should take about 5 to 10 minutes. (helpful hint: use a spoon to dip it into the curd, with your finger wipe through the middle of the spoon, if the curd stays separated then it is thick enough).
(FIY: a double boiler is not always an option as you need to have a metal bowl and a sauce pan that will also fit the bowl, if you can’t use the double boiler method, then simply use the small sauce pan: over low heat, cook the curd mixture and carefully watch it, it should take a shorter amount of time, but you should also sieve it to make sure that there are no cooked egg clumps in the curd mixture.)
Once the curd is done, in a sieve, strain the curd into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming and let it cool to room temperature.
Almond Streusel Topping
1/2 c. |50 g| almond flour/meal
2/3 c. |93 g| all-purpose flour
1/3 c. |67 g| sugar
7 tbsp. |100 g| |3.5 oz. | softened butter
1/4 tsp. |2 g| kosher salt
In a small bowl, mix all your ingredients together and evenly pour over your cake batter. (see below)
LEMON THAI BASIL CAKE RECIPE
1 1/2 c. |210 g| All-Purpose Flour
1 c. |200 g| Thai Basil Sugar
1/4 tsp. |2 g| Baking Soda
1 sticks |8 tbsp. | |115 g| |4 oz. | Butter (room temperature)
2 Eggs |108 g| ||3.8 oz. | |6 tbsp. |
1/4 tsp. |2 g| sea salt
3/4 c. |180 g| milk
1 recipe lemon curd (see above)
*this can be done with or without a hand/stand mixer
Preheat our oven to 350F/180C and pre-measure out all your ingredients. Your flour, baking soda, and salt can go into one bowl and don’t forget to sift the dry ingredients and whisk it to combine all ingredients. In another bowl spread your butter until it is no longer in a stick and add your basil sugar, add your eggs one at a time and mix until combined, and then add your vanilla paste followed by your lemon curd. Add your dry ingredients and milk intermittently, adding 1/4 of each at a time; pour your cake batter in your greased cake pan, add your streusel topping and bake in the oven for about 50 to 70 minutes.
printable recipe: LEMON THAI BASIL BREAKFAST CAKE