I'm just going to say it. This is hands down one of the best cakes I've ever had. It's sweetened with honey and dark brown sugar, giving it this rich slightly nutty taste. The crumb is soft and moist. It should be re-named the ambrosia cake because that's basically what it is.
Nothing more delightful than a couple of candied violets. Just brush violets with whipped egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Then let them dry for ten minutes or so. They become sweet and crunchy with just a hint of floral.
There's something so amazing to me about eating flowers, especially when they've been candied and are sweet. It's like eating a lovely thought.
Just look at those lines of honey sugar goodness sliding down into the cake.
Here's the recipe for yous...
I got this recipe from Vintage Cakes, which is a fantastic book, filled with wonderful cakes that are sweet without using crunched up oreos or that disgusting stuff many people call frosting (yes, I am a cake purist.) I adapted it a touch, so if you don't like this cake you can always try the original recipe. Either way, I definitely think you should check out the book.
While we were picking violets for the cake we also bundled up some with twine to take to my grandma's nursing home center. As my daughter was handing out the violets all of the old ladies got a blissful smile on their face and began talking about picking violets when they were little, braiding them together, or weaving them into May baskets. It always nice to think about those things that connect generations together, the little things like picking wild violets in the spring. Wild flowers are so much more wonderful than produced flowers, like tulips or hyacinthias, because you can only really experience them outside. They are laced with the feeling of grass underfoot and the blustery wind tangling your hair and the sunshine bringing out your freckles. One of the ladies we visit, Louise, is confined to her room (she's 99) and she asked me to tell her all of the other things that were blooming now, "What about the dandelions? Have those come up yet? And the honeysuckle? Are the fruit trees in bloom?"
We spend a lot of time outdoors and the children and I take great joy in marking the progression of spring by blooms, just as people have for innumerable generations. I don't know what I would do if even this primal sense of time was gone from my life. To be honest, I left with a very bittersweet feeling. It was nice to be able to bring spring in to people but I hope I never have to rely on just my memories and flowers in a vase to experience spring when I'm old.
I think we may have to plan a jail break for Louise. Everyone needs a least one taste of spring air.