Edible Landscaping

Chocolate Violet Cake

Everyone loves chocolate cake. Here's one that calls for violet sugar as a main ingredient. The flavor and aroma is touched with the sweetness of these flowers.

2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cup violet sugar*
3/4 cup butter
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

*To make violet sugar put 2 cups of granulated sugar and 1 cup of edible violet flowers into a food processor and blend well. Store in a glass jar for 1 week at room temperature. Sift to remove violet pieces and store sugar in an airtight container until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Cream violet sugar and butter in a large bowl. Add 1 egg, continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add remaining eggs, beating after each addition. Add vanilla. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to creamed butter mixture, gently folding to mix ingredients.

Lightly grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Divide batter between the two pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. When done, top will spring back when gently pressed and toothpick inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean. Remove from oven and let pans cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Gently remove cakes from pans, and cool completely on wire rack. Decorate with icing or confectioners' sugar.

Serves 6

Recipe by Cathy Wilkerson Barash from her book Edible Flowers: From Garden to Palate (Fulcrum Publishing, www.fulcrumbooks.com, 1995). Cathy is a garden writer and cookbook author based in Iowa.

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