Styling with West Elm

When West Elm approached me to style one of their clear acrylic trays for their American blog , Front & Main, I jumped at the chance. So I dove wholeheartedly into what I enjoy the most...baking and thought I would style their tray with my Lemon and Thyme Sponge Cake - perfect for afternoon tea. What do I like most about this tray - it's seamlessly integrates itself into whatever style you like. Winner in my book.

Lemon and Thyme Sponge Cake

What you need:

For the cake:
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175 caster sugar
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour (or plain with 1 tsp baking powder)
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 1 lemon (unwaxed)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp honey
For the icing
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 2-3 table spoons of lemon juice
Now to Make It!
The cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F . Grease and line your springform pan. 
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and very fluffy. 
3. Beat the eggs and pour a third into the butter mix, along with a tablespoon of the flour to stop the mixture from curdling. Stir well. Repeat with the other two thirds. 
4. Slowly sift in the rest of the flour and stir lightly until just combined. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time to keep the mixture smooth (it should have a dropping consistency).   
5. Zest the lemon into a separate bowl together with the thyme leaves and honey, and pound together into a paste.
6. Stir gently into the cake mixture. 
7. Spoon into springform cake tin and smooth the top flat. 
8. Bake for around 40 minutes until golden brown and a skewer or toothpick comes out clean. Then let cool completely before adding the icing.

The icing:
9. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add just enough lemon juice to make a soft icing with the consistency of thick double cream. (Note: too thick and it won't 'self-spread' , too thin and it will run off the cake and onto the plate)
10. Now decorate with some grated lemon rind and a sprig of thyme. Serve with creme fraiche or double cream. 

Best served with a lovely cup of tea- I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Styling and Photography by me


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