Our rosemary bush is a beast of a thing – large, unwieldy but capable of producing the most fragrant and delicious tasting leaves. No matter how much we use or give away there is always more, more, more taking over our herb garden.
Looking for another way to use it I stumbled across the mistress of original cooking concepts, Nigella Lawson. My well-thumbed copy of ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess’ provided the answer with this luscious cake.
To quote the lady herself: ‘Don’t be alarmed at the idea of using a herb usually associated with savoury cooking: there is something muskily aromatic about it against the sweet vanilla egginess of the cake.’
When I took it to the office to share with my work colleagues many were surprised by the addition of rosemary in a sweet cake, and that to me is part of the beauty of baking. Hopefully every time people discover new tastes they will vow to never touch a nasty, chemical-stuffed box of cake mix again.
250g butter at room temperature, diced
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs
210g self-raising flour
90g plain flour
splash vanilla extract
leaves from a 10cm stalk of rosemary, chopped small with scissors
4 tablespoons of milk
1-2 tablespoons caster sugar, extra.
LET’S GET TO IT
Preheat oven to 170C and grease and line a 23cmx13x loaf tin.
In bowl of electric mixer cream butter and add the sugar after the butter is very pale then continue creaming until smooth and light.
Beat in eggs one at a time, folding in a heaped spoonful of flour after each addition, and after this is mixed add the rest of the flour, then the vanilla and rosemary [Ms Lawson recommends using a rubber spatula for this job].
Add milk, then scrape into tin.
Sprinkle over the extra sugar then bake for 50-60 minutes/until a skewer comes out clean.
Place tin on wire rack and when cold unmould and wrap in foil until you are going to eat it.