Enjoy a special sweet and spicy cake, originally created by Alex Ventura, Executive Chef of Dat Dog in New Orleans, LA. This Acadian spice dessert features mezcal cream cheese frosting, lavender simple syrup and fluffy chocolate spice cake seasoned with McCormick® Culinary® Cajun Seasoning and McCormick® Culinary® Ground Cinnamon.
Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, ground cloves, ground ginger, salt, cayenne powder, Cajun seasoning, and ground cinnamon) and set aside.
Cream 1pound butter and 2 cups sugar on medium until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the buttermilk and dry ingredients, alternating in small batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Pour half of the batter into each prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
Set on wire rack and allow to cool completely before removing from pans.
For the Lavender Simple Syrup:
Bring water to a boil. Add 1 cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Add lavender flowers and bring back to boil.
Reduce to a very low simmer for 30 minutes or until very fragrant.
Turn off heat and let steep until completely cooled. Refrigerate.
For the Mezcal Cream Cheese Frosting:
Using paddle attachment on electric mixer, cream 1/2 pound butter and 1 pound cream cheese on medium until light and fluffy.
Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and Mezcal. Slowly add powdered sugar until incorporated.
Remove completely cooled cakes from pans, and trim up the sides and top with a sharp knife.
Using a sharp slicer, cut cakes horizontally through the middle to produce four layers total.
Using a pastry brush, apply the lavender simple syrup to each layer. Allow to soak in and apply a second coat. Keep left-over syrup for your iced tea or cocktails.
Using an offset spatula, frost each layer with about 1/8" frosting. After all layers have been placed, apply a thin layer of frosting as a crumb coat.
Place the cake in the cooler to help it firm back up a bit.
Finally, frost the cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting and decorate with a few pieces of lavender.
Use the excess lavender syrup from the recipe to create lavender ice cubes or two new beverages for your menu: Lavender Martini or Iced Tea.
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