Spoil yourself and loved ones with this Lemon and Thyme Naked Cake - ideal for those who aren't fans of lots of icing.
- 2 hrs 15 mins
- Makes 1 large cake
- 900g cake flour, sifted
- handful lemon thyme, leaves picked + extra
- 10ml salt
- zest of 4 lemons
- 500g soft butter
- 1kg sugar
- 15ml vanilla essence
- 20 extra-large eggs
FOR THE LIME SYRUP
- 125ml (½ cup) castor sugar
- 80ml (1/3 cup) lime or lemon juice
FOR THE CANDIED CREMÈ FRAÎCHE
- 4 x 250g tubs crème fraîche
- 500ml (2 cups) icing sugar
- 100g box candied citrus peel
- 15ml (1T) orange blossom essence (optional)
- handful thyme
- 3 peach roses
- honey or golden syrup (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two 23cm x 7cm deep cake tins with baking paper. Mix the flour, thyme, salt and lemon zest together.
- Cream the butter and sugar until pale. Mix in the vanilla. Add the eggs, singly, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared tins. Smooth the tops and make indents in the centres.
- Bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes until a testing skewer comes out clean. Cool slightly in the tins for about 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. Trim the tops so that the cakes are completely level. Cut each cake into 2 even layers.
- For the lime syrup, heat the sugar and lime (or lemon juice) on medium high until the sugar has dissolved. Drizzle over the cut sides of the cakes.
- For the icing, beat all the ingredients together until it starts to thicken. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spread a layer of icing on each cake layer and stack on top of one another.
- To decorate, pack thyme around the base of the cake and one or two sprigs on top of the cake. Place the roses on top and drizzle honey or syrup over the side of the cake before serving.
This recipe can easily be halved into a two-layer cake when you use one 23cm tin!
Magazine issue date: May, 2014