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.
Posted by santos. This entry was posted on 20050119 at 3:41 PM You can skip to the end and leave a response.