Sweet

Cherry + Thyme Loaf

Inspiration is everywhere. It’s up to the eye to take notice, the mind to imagine and the hands to recreate a vision.

Every time I pass by a vegetable and fruit vendor, I take in the sights and a ton of inspiration flows through. I am a fairly new cook with only about 12 years of experience in the kitchen. I’ve been eating though, for a good 30 years! I am delighted with every new discovery – which may annoy some.

This cherry cake has it’s own little story. A bundle of cherries along with fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary were sent in from Mumbai and a sudden craving for something sweet, beautiful and really, a good cake inspired this instant loaf cake. I’m fairly strict with my schedule and plans, but for some reason I decided to break my own rules and miss the morning office hours for a spot of baking – cherries folded into a thick thyme, vanilla and almond batter, topped with a gorgeous white glaze, infused with fresh thyme.

Since it was a method that I didn’t follow any instructions from, I ended up “winging it” with measurements, but it worked out brilliantly. I used a smaller loaf tin, which cuts into exactly 8 slim slices (which was enough between Little Vini and I). It was so delicious we decided not to share.

The Recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted
  • 1/2 tbsp flour
  • extra butter and flour for greasing
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1/4 pod vanilla pod
  • 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Grease and flour the loaf tin.
  • Stir the ½ tbsp of flour into the cherries and stir.
  • Melt the butter with the thyme.
  • Whisk the egg and sugar first for at least 3 minutes with an electric beater. The texture should be fluffy and smooth.
  • Then add the melted butter, milk and extracts and whisk to combine.
  • Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt, followed by the flour and whisk to just combine. Do not over beat.
  • With a spatula fold the cherries into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the cake tin.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool within the tin for another 10 minutes, and then remove onto a cooling rack.
  • Cool completely before glazing.
  • Whisk the milk and vanilla into the icing sugar until you achieve a dripping consistency.
  • Drizzle over the loaf and garnish with fresh sprigs of thyme.