On (almost) finishing. And some thyme and peach loaf cake.

Greetings dear readers. It has been a long time! Three (nearly four) whole months (ssshhh!). If you are wondering what on earth happened to me (I do hope you are), well, I finally submitted my thesis for examination. Cue dancing bears and confetti and loud bangs and cake.

Well, some of those things anyway. I am now in that weird interim period as I await my viva (defense) and start to contemplate life-after-a-PhD. This is a surprisingly scary thing. I’ve spent a very long time on one project and now I find myself at the end and the big, scary question now is, what next? And the even scarier realisation is that well anything could be next. The possibilities are somewhat endless. The good thing is that there seem to be various things happening in a range of places but I am as yet without an actual permanent job. I keep reminding myself that this is okay! I’m busy working in a cafe (making a lot of cake) and writing several things. And next week I am bonding with the mothership and princess up in the peaks for some much needed rest.

But in the meantime, I am back here. (Yay!) I will do a catch up post soon but today I’m keeping it simple. Today is all about this cake (bout this cake).

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I found this cake via Instagram, which I realise sounds odd but there you go. I follow Honey&Co and on Sunday a while back they had a ‘cook along’ which, quite frankly, is just a genius idea. Basically they posted photographs of the step-by-step process of this cake and you could cook alongside with them. I was at work (#chefslife) but I scrolled back through the feed with interest. I love a loaf cake and at this time of year I’ll take anything with peaches. Their cake is made with fennel seeds (which sounds exciting and intriguing) but in my head I had this mantra going “peaches and thyme, peaches and thyme” so I decided to do a little adapting and made this instead. This is wonderful cake – good for tea – but even better a day old, toasted under the grill and slathered with salted butter. (You can ask the girls at work. They will concur.)

Peach and Thyme Loaf Cake
Adapted from Honey & Co

125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g golden caster sugar
zest of one orange
zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 eggs
120g white spelt flour
40g buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
80g all-fat natural yoghurt
40g creme fraiche
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 peaches
demerara sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a large loaf tin with butter. Line the base of the tin with parchment.

Cream together the butter, sugar, zests, vanilla and salt until the mixture is white and fluffy.

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Pull the thyme leaves from their stems. If your thyme is flowering you can also add in some of the flowers. Pull enough leaves to fill a tablespoon loosely. Add the thyme into your mixture.

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Add in the eggs and beat again. The mixture will probably look split, do not stress. It’ll come back together.

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Cut two cheeks off each peach (Honey & Co came up with this delightful phrase). Slice the cheeks finely. Dice the rest of the peaches.

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In a separate bowl, mix together the flours and baking powder.
Fold half the flour into the egg/butter mixture followed by all the yoghurt and creme fraiche.

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Fold the diced peaches into the cake batter

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Pour the batter into your loaf tin.
Arrange the peach slices on the top and sprinkle with a little demerara sugar.

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Bake until the cake is risen and cooked through – a skewer inserted comes out clean and the cake springs back at your touch. Depending on your oven this will take around 45 minutes or so.
Allow to cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning out and cooling completely on a wire rack.

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