I'm a big fan of lemons. If there's ever a time I'm spoilt for choice looking at a dessert menu, as long as there's something lemon based, I've found a winner.
A lemon drizzle is most definitely a British classic. It's hard to beat a thick wedge of light buttery sponge drenched in a sharp but sweet citrussy syrup. It certainly is one of my favourites.
The lemon and thyme cake I made this week is just a slight twist on the usual drizzle. I have to admit, the very first time I heard about this combination in a cake I was a bit sceptical, but believe me it really does work! The fresh thyme brings a wonderfully unique and fragrant flavour to this classic without distracting too much from the star of the show.
Each layer of sponge has specks of fresh thyme running through before being soaked with a tangy thyme infused syrup. To sandwich the layers together, lemon curd is rippled through some mascarpone for a creamy filling that cuts the sharpness and keeps everything light and fresh.
With it's sunshine yellows and bright airy feel, in a way, this cake felt like a final farewell to summer. As autumn is fast approaching and the skies get greyer, I'm very much in the mood for more cozier and warm bakes. Think loads of apples, spices and hearty pies and puddings. You're in for a treat.
R E C I P E
230g Unsalted Butter, softened
200g Caster Sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
3 tsp Finely chopped fresh thyme
4 medium Eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
150g Plain Flour
80g Ground Almonds
1 and 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
40g Sour Cream
Juice of 2 Lemons
80g Caster Sugar
2-3 Sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp Lemon Curd
M E T H O D
Grease and line two 6 inch/15cm cake tins. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4/180C/350F
Add the butter, sugar, zest and thyme to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat together until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. If the mixture looks curdled, add in a tablespoon of flour.
Stir in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, almonds and baking powder.
Gently stir this into the butter until just combined.
Fold in the sour cream.
Divide the batter equally between the two tins and bake for 30-35 minutes
To make the syrup, heat the lemon juice, caster sugar and thyme and bring to the boil.
Simmer for a few more minutes and then remove from the heat.
Once the cakes are out of the oven, prick holes in the surface with a skewer and pour over the syrup.
Allow to cool on a wire rack
To assemble, level each cake with a serrated knife if they're not completely level.
Mix together the mascarpone and lemon curd and use half to sandwich the cakes together.
Spread the rest on top and decorate with lemon slices and fresh thyme