Naartjie, Thyme and Marigold Cake with Walnut Praline
This cake would make a wonderful dessert for any meal. It’s fresh, while still retaining some richness. Absolutely lovely!
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40-50 minutes
60 g butter
3 sprigs thyme, stems removed and discarded
110 g brown treacle sugar, tightly packed
½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
6-8 naartjies, unpeeled and cut in 1cm slices
8 marigolds, washed
285 g flour
½ Tbsp (7.5 ml) baking powder
½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
110 g butter, room temperature
100 g castor sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
3/4 C (180 ml) milk
200 g castor sugar
100 g walnuts
Line the bottom of a 22cm round loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, mix in the thyme, brown treacle sugar and salt. Continue cooking just until the sugar begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and swirl around until the mixture spreads evenly across the bottom of the pan. Arrange the naartjie slices on top of the brown sugar mixture.
Preheat the oven to 180 ºC.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and castor sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add the vanilla extract, half of the flour mixture and beat until it has been incorporated and then add the milk. Continue mixing for about a minute and then add the remaining half of the flour mixture.
Pour the cake batter over the naartjie slices in the cake tin and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Run a knife around the edge of the cake. Place an upside down plate on top of the cake tin and flip it over.
Melt the castor sugar in a saucepan, stirring continuously, allowing it to caramelise. Add the nuts, mix together and pour it out onto a sheet of baking paper and allow it to set.
This cake is delicious served slightly warm. Just before serving garnish with marigold flowers and crack the praline and scatter over the cake.