A Piece of Cake - Lemon Thyme Cake
My favourite of all the herbs in the garden and possibly the scent that I love the most is thyme. We use it a lot in cooking although I had never tried baking with it. But I was keen to give it a go. And I was delighted to stumble across a recipe by one of my food heroes, Nigel Slater, for Thyme and Lemon cake. It's pretty much a lemon drizzle cake but with a subtle thyme flavour running through the sponge. I baked it yesterday on my day off and it was great spending time pottering in the kitchen and the garden to create this little slice of cake heaven.
For the sponge:
200g caster sugar
100g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
4 large eggs
1 tsp thyme leaves
For the top:
4 tbsp sugar
2 large lemons
½ tsp thyme leaves
You will need a 19cm x 9cm loaf tin lined with baking parchment
Set the oven to 160C. Cream the butter with the sugar in a food mixer until pale and fluffy. Lightly beat the eggs, then fold them into the mixture in 2 or 3 sessions, beating them in thoroughly each time. Sift together the flour and the baking powder and mix with the ground almonds.
Grate the zest from the lemon and mix it with the thyme leaves. Pound the two together with a pestle or some other heavy weight. Add to the cake mixture with the flour, baking powder and almonds. Spoon into the lined cake tin and bake for 45 minutes.
While the cake bakes, dissolve the sugar in the juice of the lemons over a medium heat and stir in the thyme leaves (a few flowers would be good here). As the cake comes from the oven, spike the surface with a skewer and spoon over the syrup. Leave to cool and serve in slices.
Enjoy with a cuppa in the sunshine (if there is any!) x