Grilled Lemon cake with strawberries and lemon thyme cream

By Kitchen Butterfly
June 8, 2010
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Author Notes: The idea of dessert on the grill is fascinating, especially if cake and what better to serve with than summer berries and a mixture of cream and lemon thyme curd. I love the combination of strawberries and lemon - I think they are a marriage made n heaven. Day old cake left at room temperature is best for this, as it is slightly drier and holds better. Note - if you can't grill the cake on coals/gas, use a heated, slightly oiled grill pan.Tips for baking the cake? Measure out the oil first before the yogurt - its easier and ensures you get your full measure; the sprinkled light brown sugar bakes crisp and gives a nice crunchy topping, as does the sprinkling of almond meal round the tin. To slice the cake, use a sharp knife, not a serated one or table knife - this leaves a smooth, finer face on the cake. Grilling the cake gives it a nice crunchy exterior and a soft interior, not to mention a nice smokiness that goes well with the cherries which soften, sweeten and become juicier. This is great use for left over cake.... - Kitchen ButterflyKitchen Butterfly

Food52 Review: This is a really good recipe, starting with the lemon cake. In fact, I had spent all weekend recently trying to make lemon cupcakes for a friend and I couldn't get the proportions right -- it came out more puddingy than cakey. Using almond flour was genius and seemed to have done the trick. The grilling was a very nice idea -- it made the cake pieces kind of crunchy on the edges and soft in the center, and that was really good. Just plain with strawberries and a little powdered sugar, the grilled lemon cake was delicious. The lemon curd was delicious and very easy to make but, despite Kitchen Butterfly's recommendation to warm the leaves and bruise them, there was only minimal thyme flavor. For a stronger presence of thyme, you may need to increase the amount or infuse it longer in the liquid. I changed the proportions a bit -- used equal amounts of creme fraiche and curd -- and really liked it. - drbabs
The Editors

Serves: 12

Grilled Lemon cake with strawberries and lemon thyme cream

  • 240g white flour, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons almond meal/flour
  • 180g super-fine granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100ml vegetable oil (canola, sunflower etc)
  • 150 ml regular vanilla yogurt (not strained)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Strawberries
  • Lemon thyme cream (recipe below)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. While the oven is preheating, butter a regular loaf tin and then sprinkle two tablespoons of almond meal round the pan so it coats the base and sides. This will help the cake slip out of the pan easier.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, almond meal, superfine sugar, baking powder, and salt together, using a large balloon whisk to combine.
  3. In another bowl, combine oil, yogurt, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the yogurt-oil mixture into this centre, whisk or use a spatula to combine ingredients.
  5. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Bake in the middle of your preheated oven. Check the cake after 40 minutes, using a skewer to test. It should come out clean. If it is still wet, give it another 5 - 10 minutes, being careful not to overbake it.
  6. When ready, remove from oven and let cool in tin for 5 - 10 minutes (on a wire rack). Run a spatula round the edge of the tin/cake to loosen. Place a plate over the top and tip out gently.
  7. Leave to fully cool down overnight. On day 2, slice into 1 inch thick slices and grill on a clean, lightly oiled rack (being careful to keep it clear from meats) and let each side develop marks, a couple of minutes both ways.
  8. Serve warm with chopped strawberries and lemon thyme cream

Lemon thyme cream

  • 1 whole raw egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 80g granulated sugar or vanilla sugar
  • 40 – 60 gm ice cold butter, cut into about 10 pieces
  • Rind & juice of 1 lemon
  • Leaves of 1-2 sprigs of (lemon) thyme (put thyme stalks under running hot water tap for 10 - 15 seconds to stimulate oils)
  • 200ml creme fraiche
  1. Bruise thyme leaves by gently pounding to release oils and flavour. Set aside.
  2. Whisk eggs in a bowl and sieve into a pan to remove thick bits of yolk.
  3. Add sugar to egg mix and stir till its a soft mixture then place the pan on very low heat on your stove top. Continue mixing and then add lemon rind and juice and lemon thyme leaves and stir together.
  4. After 2-3 minutes, start adding the chunks of butter one at a time, mixing well till butter is melted before adding another.
  5. After 10 – 12 minutes, it should be ready. Don’t worry if the mixture looks thin, it will thicken once cool.
  6. Put in clean jars - I tend not to sterilise my jars as the curd must be refrigerated. Use within 2 weeks
  7. When ready to make the cream, put the creme fraiche in a bowl and whisk to loosen it. Then stir in 6 or more tablespoons of lemon thyme curd, or to taste. Serve dollops of this with strawberries and grilled cake

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