EAT IN BED: Chamomile Maple Syrup Cake with Hayley McKee
Words by Elisha Kennedy
I got my hands on a copy of Hayley McKee's cookbook, Sticky Fingers, Green Thumb only recently, and it's already been well exercised in my kitchen. Full of recipes that are as good-looking as they are resourceful, Hayley's kind of baking - that is, the kind that relies on picking and foraging for edible flowers and herbs - is a complete sensory joy to engage in. Her baking is a celebration of the garden, and so it seemed apt that at this time of year, in Australian mid-summer, when the garden is bursting, that Hayley should give us a tour of her kitchen and community garden, and share something sweet with us from her book.
"I grow as many herbs and edible flowers as I can. I have planters around my apartment and across the road at my community garden.""I also buy a lot from Asian grocery stores, my local fresh produce market and middle eastern spice and nut shops - those are my other regular pit stops."
I like eating this cake slightly warm straight from the oven with just a dash of maple syrup and cream on the side."
1/4 cup chamomile petals, dried*
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
110 g raw (demerara) sugar
140 ml maple syrup, plus extra for serving
280 g unsalted butter
170 g Greek-style yoghurt
250 g plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
150 g white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 175__C (345__F). Lightly grease and line a 22cm (9 in) round cake tin with baking paper. Melt butter with chamomile petals. Strain. Beat the eggs together in a large bowl using a hand-held mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until frothy. Add the maple syrup, melted butter, yoghurt, vanilla and sugar and beat again to combine. Fold in the flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven, turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool slightly. Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup. instagram.com/stickyfingersbakery Stickyfingersbakery.com.au