Honey, Earl Grey, Fresh Thyme and Walnut Cake with an Orange Blossom Cream

February 7, 2024

This is a slightly more grown up cousin of a walnut and honey cake. It’s wonderfully soft and moist, with a layer of an Earl Grey tea and thyme running through. I’ve always been intrigued by using fresh herbs in desserts as I think that they bring a certain level of sophistication.

The recipe below comes from the restaurant The Palomar’s cook book,The Palomar serving the modern food of Jerusalem in the heart of Theatreland in London’s Soho.

You can serve it either with a drizzle of a runny honey, or like myself, with a dollop of a whipped cream flavoured with an orange blossom water.

Serves 12

  • 125 ml of hot water
  • 2 teabags of Earl Grey tea (5g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 125 g of runny honey
  • 70 g of demerara sugar
  • 175 g of plain flour, sifted
  • 1 scant teaspoon of baking powder
  • half a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
  • 1 scant teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh thyme
  • grated zest from one unwaxed orange
  • 50 g of walnuts, roughly chopped

Orange Blossom Whipped Cream:

  • 250 ml of double cream
  • 3 flat tablespoons of icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tablespoons (to taste) of orange blossom water

Preheat the oven to 180 C (160 C fan assisted oven).

Grease a bundt cake tin or a loaf tin with butter and dust with flour.

Pour the hot water over the tea bags and leave the flavours to infuse, allowing the tea too cool down completely.

In a standing mixer beat the eggs with the sugar until doubled in size. Add the honey and oil whilst whisking all the while.

Now add the flour, cinnamon, thyme and orange zest mixing everything well on a lower speed. Finally stir in the baking powder with the soda, followed by the walnuts at the very end.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 40 minutes (you can check if it’s ready by inserting a cocktail stick into the centre of the cake, which should come out clean).  Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool down before turning it out on a plate.

Prepare the whipped cream:

Whisk the double cream in a bowl.

Once it starts to form soft peaks whisk in the sugar (add more sugar if you wish).

Now add the orange blossom water and whisk gently for a few seconds.

Keep in the fridge until needed.

Decorate the cake with some walnuts and serve with some honey drizzled on top or with a dollop of orange blossom cream.