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Lemon and thyme sponge cake

You'll need

12 eggs, at room temperature 330 gm (1½ cups) raw caster sugar 2 lemons, finely grated rind only 370 gm (2½ cups) plain flour, triple sifted 120 gm butter, melted and cooled 2 tbsp thyme leaves 300 ml pouring cream, whipped to soft peaks For dusting: sugar   Lemon butter 165 ml lemon juice 220 gm butter, coarsely chopped 165 gm (¾ cup) caster sugar 4 egg yolks 2 eggs   Lemon and thyme syrup 180 gm raw caster sugar 60 ml (¼ cup) lemon juice 2 lemons, zested rind only 8 thyme sprigs 50 ml limoncello


  • 01
  • For lemon butter, combine lemon juice and butter in a heavy-based saucepan and stir over low heat until butter melts. Whisk sugar, egg yolks and eggs in a bowl until combined, add to lemon juice mixture and stir continuously for 4-5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, transfer to a container and refrigerate until completely cold. Makes about 2 cups.
  • 02
  • For lemon and thyme syrup, combine sugar, lemon juice and ¾ cup water in a small saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, add lemon zest and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, simmer for 15-20 minutes or until zest is translucent, add thyme and simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add limoncello and stir to combine. Cool completely.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Using an electric mixer on high speed, whisk eggs, sugar and lemon rind for 7-8 minutes or until tripled in volume. Sift over flour, then fold through using a large metal spoon, add butter and thyme and fold through. Pour into a buttered and floured 28cm-diameter cake pan, filling to 3cm below rim (there may be mixture left over). Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and centre springs back when pressed gently with a fingertip. Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  • 04
  • To serve, halve cake horizontally, spread base with cream and lemon butter and sandwich with top. Scatter top with white sugar, drizzle syrup over and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Grapey, sherbety Moscato.

Featured in

Nov 2007

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