Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake

Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake
Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake
Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake
Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake
Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake

I have been promising to get this cake up on the blog for ages. For those of you who have waited patiently, thank you! I made it for my mother-in-law's birthday and it was a hit! I couldn't share how good it looked when cut into, as I still needed to give it to her. But I guess that will be part of the surprise and the trust that you have with The Truffle Journal. The moment that you cut into the cake will be such a treat. The lemon flavour is perfect and compliments the thyme wonderfully. I made a vanilla buttercream which was delectable and trust me, will leave you wanting more. Just don't make the same mistake I did, which was to have dinner before.

Life is short, have dessert first and in this case, lemon and thyme poppy seed cake! 


Ingredients: 

For the cake:
Cake:
420 grams cake flour
400 grams caster sugar
4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons poppy seeds (soaked in a little warm milk for 15 minutes)
230 grams unsalted butter, room temperature, coarsely chopped
grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
5 egg whites

For the thyme syrup:
50 grams granulated sugar (from the cake sugar)
1/2 cup water
small fist-full of thyme leaves - about 10 sprigs
Juice of 1/2 a lemon 

For the frosting: 
2 vanilla beans, scored and seeds removed
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
250g cream cheese
200 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla paste


Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Grease three 20cm round cake pans. 
Line the bottom of each with a round of wax paper and butter the paper. (The batter is sticky so don't miss this step!) 

Combine the flour, 1 ¾ cups (350g) of the sugar, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds (milk strained) in the large bowl of an electric mixer. 
Beat on low speed to blend the ingredients and break up any lumps, about 30 seconds. 
Add the butter, lemon zest and 1 cup of the buttermilk to the flour mixture. Beat on low until completely mixed. 
Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes to lighten and aerate the batter.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites with the remaining ¼ cup buttermilk; whisk well. Add this mixture to the batter in 2-3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating only enough to incorporate. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
While the cakes are cooling, make the lemon syrup: in a small saucepan, combine the remaining ¼ cup (50g) of sugar, the lemon juice, thyme and the water. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. 
Turn out the cake layers onto wire racks and generously brush them hot lemon syrup over the warm cakes to moisten evenly. Let cool completely.

For the frosting: 

Using an electric mixer beat the butter and cream cheese together until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar one cup at a time beating well after each addition. Make sure to scrap the sides down. Add the vanilla and mix well. 

To assemble the cake:

I add a dollop of frosting onto the base before I add my first layer. This ensures it doesn't go slipping and sliding. 
Add a fifth of the icing on the first layer and spread evenly. Add the next layer and repeat. Use the remaining icing to ice the cake. You can do a nude look or fully cover the cake. Garnish with some thyme or flowers! 

-Melissa 

Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it

Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it
Lion Heart - Have your cake and eat it

I first came across Lion Heart through Nikki Albertyn. She is a local baker and creative with an Instagram that caught my eye. I knew from the get go that I had to share what she was up to. Her business partner Karmen, is her lifelong friend and the two have created a little magic with their baking skills and creativity. After much stalking, I decided to contact the Gurl's and shoot the exciting bakery and magnificent cakes! 

Situated in Woodstock this team of two work on making cakes that are minimal in design yet make a statement with their bold colours and unique textures. I was taken aback when I saw the limited space that they work out of. To create these little pieces of art with such limited space is commendable! Trust me, I know because I am in a tiny kitchen and although it's great that everything is at arm's length, it can get tiring! 

Spending the morning with the team I watched how they work together with ease and let each other create with trust. Feeding off the fun vibe and with tunes playing in the background. Of course, this all would mean nothing without the matching Gurl Power T's. 

They created a new beautiful cake and mentioned that they will put it on the site and name it "Everest." It's the blue cake above and it took all of me to not run my finger through the buttercream! 

I believe you can never have too many good bakeries listed in your little black book and I will definitely be adding this team to mine. Their cakes are for all occasions. So whether you are celebrating a birthday or going to get married they are definitely worth a call! The flavours of the sponge vary from poppy seed to mud cake and the fillings from smokey salted caramel, lemon curd to rosemary buttercream! If you would like to see more click here to visit their site! It's pretty rad and will leave you drooling - just a warning! All cakes are made to order and you need to give them a heads up! 

I know for sure if I ever need to make a cake and I don't have the time, the Sweet Lion Heart Gurl's will be the first bakers I call for back up! 

-Melissa