Lemon Chamomile Cake With Honeylocust, Chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Strawberry, Pistachio, Buttercream

"Pretty in Pink. "
-- @theawkwardscone

Makes (1) 9" cake

10 egg whites
6 1/2 oz Butter, Room Temperature 
1 1/2 Cup Plus 3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar 
1 teaspoon ground chamomile
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/2Cups Plus 1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon Cake Flour 
3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder 
3/4 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Buttermilk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9” Cake Pan. Mix Together Cake Flour, Salt and Baking Powder and then sift. Set Aside

Add vanilla to buttermilk and set aside. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer, with whisk attachment, begin whipping egg whites until they form soft peaks. With mixer running, add the 3 Tablespoons of sugar. Beat until whites hold stiff peaks. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.

Also, in the bowl of the stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat together remaining sugar, lemon zest butter and chamomile until light and fluffy.

Scrape down sides of bowl and add 1/3 of the flour mix. Turn on to low/medium speed and then begin to alternate with 1/3 of Buttermilk mix to 1/3 of flour mix until both are completely incorporated into a smooth batter.

Take 1/3 of the egg whites and add to the batter, stirring to lighten up the batter.

Gently fold in the remaining 2/3 of the egg whites.

Pour in to prepared cake pan and bake until golden brown, springy and edges begin to release from the pan.

Cool completely.

PISTACHIO BUTTERCREAM- May make more than needed, but can be saved in refrigerator or freezer for future use.

9 Egg Whites 
2 Pounds Butter, Room Temperature 
1 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar 
1/2 cup Water
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt 
1/2 Cup Pistachio Paste 
1 teaspoon Almond Extract 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour water into a small saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Gently agitate to mix.
Using a candy thermometer, cook over medium heat until the syrup reaches Soft Ball or 118˚ Celsius/235˚ Fahrenheit

Meanwhile, place egg whites in clean bowl of stand mixer with whip attachment. Begin whipping egg whites and when sugar syrup reaches proper temperature and whites have began to stiffen, pour sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to blend with meringue. Allow mixture to whip for 4-6 minutes until, stiff and glossy.

Incrementally add the softened butter to the meringue mixture, stopping the mixer to scrape down if necessary. Once butter is incorporated and begins to form a creamy, glossy frosting, add pistachio paste, vanilla and almond extract. Mix until fully incorporated. Add food color at this point if desired.

To Assemble Cake:

1-Quart Fresh Strawberries, washed, hulled and halved

Fresh, Edible Flowers Like Chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Locust Blossoms, Calendula or anything else found at the local farmers market.

Take Cooled Cake and slice in half horizontally. Place top half aside.
Line strawberries up next to each other on bottom half of cake. It is okay if they are touching, but leave about 1/4 inch border around the interior edge of the cake. Take about 1/3 of soft buttercream and place in piping bag. No piping tip is necessary.

Pipe buttercream around the exposed rim of the bottom cake layer. Then pipe between the gaps of the strawberries. Pipe a small swirl on top of the cut strawberries and then smooth with a palette knife or icing spatula.

Place second layer of cake on top, with the cut layer facing up to expose a flat top. Gently press down to adhere cake to buttercream.Refrigerate for 30 Min to an Hour.

Remove cake and ice the exterior of the cake. You may make a very thin layer of crumb coat, to keep from getting little crumbs caught in the buttercream. Refrigerate again until buttercream is set. Then go over the crumb coat with a thicker layer of buttercream. Smooth and even with an icing spatula or bench knife. Decorate with additional buttercream, fresh strawberries, chopped pistachios and edible flowers.