At I Heart Cooking clubs (IHCC) this week, "It's time to make a dish and Take It Outside to a picnic, outdoor gathering, park, porch or lanai!". I've made Nigella Lawson's Rosemary Loaf Cake, which is perfect for any gathering, either outdoor or indoors.
I have a pot of bushy rosemary plant in my garden, and am always looking for ways to use them. I can't believe that I have overlooked this recipe from one of my favourite baking books, How To Be A Domestic Goddess.
This is a plain butter cake, with bits of chopped rosemary leaves in it. The rosemary does not give it's herb flavour to the cake but rather a light aroma which is really very nice. As Nigella says " ...there is something muskily aromatic about it against the sweet vanilla egginess of the cake".
I've used salted butter instead of unsalted as in the recipe. The salted butter gives a really nice salty buttery flavour to the cake.
The cake is moist, with soft buttery crumb. My kinda cake, simple and yummy!
Rosemary Loaf Cake
(How To Be A Domestic Goddess, Nigella Lawson)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter (I use salted butter)
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/3 self-raising cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
needles from 4-inch stalk of rosemary, chopped small, but not too fine (about 2 teaspoon)
4 tablespoons milk (I use 2 tbsps)
1-2 tablespoons rosemary sugar or granulated brown or white sugar (omitted)
9x5-inch loaf pan, buttered and lined with parchment or wax paper
Preheat the oven to 350F. Now cream the butter, adding the sugar when it's really soft, and creaming both together till pale and smooth and light. Beat in the eggs one at a time, folding in a spoonful of the flour after each addition, then add the vanilla. Fold in the rest of the flour (Nigella recommends using a rubber spatula), and finally the rosemary. Thin the batter with the milk, you're after a soft, dropping consistency - and pour, into the waiting pan. Sprinkle the top with a little sugar (I omitted the sugar), before putting it in the oven, and cook for 1 hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack, in its pan, and when completely cold, unmould and wrap well in foil till you need to eat it. Like all sorts of cakes, it keeps well.
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