lemon myrtle cake, take one (no, really--take one)

warning: this is a ramble. they think i'm filling out insurance forms or something at work so shhhh

merry and i used to make this lemon thyme tea bread when we were in college; i think i found it in one of the first issues of "victoria" magazine (does that still exist?). i remember the flavour distinctly--intensely lemon thyme-y, with a smooth, fine crumbed cake to back up its herbiness. occasionally we would make the cake with lemon juice, zest, and thyme if we couldn't get the proper stuff. even though i preferred the original, it is actually this version i've come to remember more.

i've been craving an herby sweet cake for a couple of weeks now; chika has made several herby cakes, but i wasn't quite sure what herb i wanted or even how herby i wanted it. i decided to use lemon myrtle because i did want something lemony without the acid and without the snicket, and because i happen to have it on hand.

i also decided to go with a heavier cake than a sponge or chiffon, so originally i intended to do an olive oil-based cake, but fates conspired and said "you will forget to go to the store and buy olive oil, you will. not. bwaaahaaahaa", so i did. (forget, that is.) i ended up making the first thing in the first cookbook i grabbed, which is nigella lawson's "how to be a domestic goddess", and the recipe was for madeira cake, which sounded like a pound cake, and inexplicably, has no madeira in it.

i should tell you i actually used this stuff, of which i added 1 teaspoonful to the cake, and then sprinkled more on top after the cake had cooled, as there's a little bit of advice in there that says it's best used as a finishing spice. that's probably the truth, because even though i used a heaping tsp, i can't really taste anything outside of the butter and sugar of the cake, bar the browned top with the sprinkled bits. there's also something in there that makes my tongue numb, but for the moment i'm enjoying that.
the cake itself is fairly enjoyable, but it's not quite what i'm looking for--it's slightly too dense, too buttery, and where the heck is the madeira again? i don't really know if the lemon myrtle really stood a chance with this one. next time i think i'll try that olive oil cake, and i'll let you know how it turns out.


Hi Santos,

I like lemon anything...I guess I'm just a sourpuss. LOL! I've never heard of lemon myrtle before and haven't seen it around at any of the shops. How's about using finely minced lemongrass if you don't want that citrus-y lemon flavor? Might work. Wanna try it? =P

Hi Santos,

It looks lovely and sounds good! Like Reid, I love anything lemony.

Can I take one of the take one?

hi reid

it does kind of remind me of lemongrass. and eucalyptus, too, which might explain why it makes my tongue go numb.

hi chika

no, take two :-) i want to try your olive oil cake with this.

Australian Lemon Myrtle has a citrus fragrance and taste with the aroma of lemon and lemon grass. Try the recipe for Velvet Pie using Lemon Myrtle Infused Olive Oil (www.hickorysrun.com) see the recipe section.