For my final bake for my colleagues I wanted to bake something really special. Although I may not have a signature bake, I do have a signature tin; the heritage Bundt tin which I thought I would use this for my farewell bake. Lemon drizzle seems to be a crowd pleaser but I wanted to do something a little bit different and came across a recipe for Lemon, Thyme and Ricotta Cake at https://www.supergoldenbakes.com/2016/03/lemon-thyme-ricotta-and-semolina-cake.html. I adapted the recipe slightly by increasing the amount of lemon and thyme and did not use the crushed candies on the top. I was so happy with how it turned out. First of all, there were no tin dramas; that’s when the top third of my cake gets stuck in the tin when I try to turn it out. I left the cake to cool completely before attempting to turn it out of the tin. The cake was light and fluffy. The lemon and thyme syrup made the sponge incredibly moist and zingy and the thyme gave a background note which added a layer of complexity to the flavour. After six years of baking for these guys, I think we ended on a high. It makes me extremely happy to bake for such appreciative people!
· 250g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus a little more to grease the cake tin
· 250g caster sugar
· 250g ricotta
· 150g fine semolina
· 150g plain flour, plus a little more to dust the cake tin
· 80ml lemon juice
· 3 eggs
· 2 tbsp lemon thyme leaves, very finely chopped
· 1 tsp baking powder
· ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
· zest of 2 lemons
· fresh flowers to decorate (optional)
For the herb syrup
· 100g granulated sugar
· 100ml water
· 2 tbsp lemon juice
· 2 sprigs lemon thyme
· 4 sage leaves
For the glaze
· 200g icing sugar
· 1-2 tbsp lemon juice or milk
· Preheat the oven to 180C/350 F/ Gas 4. Grease a 20cm (8in) bundt cake tin with butter. Dust with a little flour and shake out any excess.
· Beat the butter, sugar, thyme and lemon zest in a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) until pale and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides as needed.
· Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat to combine.
· Stir in the ricotta and lemon juice.
· Sift in the flour, semolina, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Stir everything together until the batter is smooth.
· Transfer the batter into the prepared bundt tin and level. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack before carefully turning out.
· Put the sugar, water, lemon juice and herbs in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the herbs and brush the syrup liberally over the cake.
· Mix the icing sugar with enough lemon juice or milk to create a thick but pourable glaze. Drizzle it over the cake. I tend to put the glaze in the grooves of the bundt and use it as a glue to stick the decorations in place. Decorate with flowers. The cake keeps really well for a few days.