This steamed lemon and thyme cake, is sweet with a hint of sour lemon. Because it’s steamed, it’s also pretty much impossible to overcook. How good is that?
Steamed cakes are nothing new. You can find examples of it all over the globe. From the Malay sponge cake, to the Britsh pudding. While nowadays, baking cakes in the oven is more common, that wasn’t always the case. Until pretty recently, an oven would not have been standard kitchen equipment. But you don’t need any fancy stuff to create some steam.
While I used an Instantpot and a special waterbath cake tin with a lid, you can make a steamed cake with far simpler tools. All you really need is a pan with hot water, a covered heatproof bowl and something you can place in the pan to keep your cake above water.
There are pro’s and con’s to using steam. Steaming is actually a very efficient way of making a cake. Because of the steam, the cake doesn’t dry out. So it’s very difficult to overcook a cake with steam. The biggest con is that you don’t get that baking taste. After all, the cake doesn’t brown when steam it. Steamed cakes are light and moist when they’re fresh and warm. But unfortunately, they loose that moisture as they cool down and become more dense.
For that reason, this steamed lemon and thyme cake is best served warm. Either serve the cake immediately or leave it to cool and store it in the fridge until you need it. Then simply reheat it in the microwave for a minute or so.
Apparently, steamed cakes also keep well in the freezer. But I haven’t personally tried this. If you do try this, let me know how it went!
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