I'm always afraid that if I add herbs to sweet baking, I'll end up with a quiche instead of a cake. Something about "face the fear and do it anyway" made me make this cake and I'm so glad I did. It's a zesty lemon cake but with an extra zing, almost a lemony fizz, from the lemon thyme. I wouldn't have known the flavour was from the thyme, I would have possibly said the zest of a lime was used or perhaps a different variety of lemons. The ground almonds keep the cake moist and the glaze (which sits on top of the cake and only slightly penetrates through the cake) is sticky and gooey. Overall? If you like Lemon Cake, you'll love this.
The original recipe is from "The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days". I've made a few changes to it but the main difference is that I've added almonds which go so well with the lemon.
Lemon Thyme and Almond Loaf, adapted from "The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days"
190g (7oz) butter, softened
Zest of 2 lemons
3 tsp finely chopped lemon thyme leaves
190g (7oz) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
130g (7oz) plain (AP) flour
60g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp natural yogurt
For the soaking syrup
40g (1.5 oz) granulated sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tsp finely chopped lemon thyme leaves
Preheat the oven to 170C (325F). Grease a 2 lb (900g) loaf tin.
Beat the butter, zest, thyme leaves and sugar until light and fluffy. This is easiest with a free standing mixer but a hand held one works fine too.
Add the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
Sift the flour, ground almonds and baking powder into the creamed mixture in two batches and mix together on a low speed.
Add the natural yogurt, then pour the batter into the tin and bake for 40-50 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean (it took my cake 60 mins before I was happy that it was ready).
While the cake is cooking, make the syrup. Put all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to the boil, allowing it to reduce by half and become slightly sticky. Pour over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Allow the cake to cool in the tin.