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    Lemon thyme, blossom honey & polenta cake

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    Lemon thyme, blossom honey & polenta cake

    Subtle floral flavours from citrus, thyme and honey make this cake a wonderful summer bake.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus cooling
    • Cooking time: 50 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes, plus cooling

    Serves: 10


    150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
    150g orange blossom honey
    3 eggs, separated
    1 lemon, zest
    200g ground almonds
    100g polenta
    1½ tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp fine salt
    3 tbsp lemon thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs to decorate

    Vanilla cream
    100g double cream
    100g natural yogurt
    ½ tsp vanilla bean paste

    Honey lemon syrup
    75g orange blossom honey 
    ½ lemon, juice
    2 lemon thyme sprigs


    1. Preheat the oven to 170˚C, gas mark 3; lightly grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm round cake tin. In a large bowl, use electric beaters to cream the butter and honey together, until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and lemon zest, then the almonds, polenta, baking powder, salt and thyme leaves.

    2. In a separate, clean bowl, with clean beaters, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold into the polenta mixture, being careful to retain as much air as possible but making sure all the egg white is mixed in. Tip into the cake tin and bake for 45 minutes, until it is golden and springs back when lightly touched (cover loosely with a sheet of foil if it browns too quickly). Cool the cake for 15 minutes in the tin, then remove and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

    3. When ready to serve, whisk the double cream to very soft peaks, then whisk in the yogurt and vanilla; set aside. Heat the syrup ingredients in a small pan until bubbling, then pour over the cake, discarding the thyme sprigs. Decorate with a sprig of thyme, slice and serve with the cream.

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Food, May 2017 issue. Updated June 2020.


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    5 stars