Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Nigella Lawson's Rosemary Loaf Cake Recipe - rosmariinikeeks

Rosemary, you see, doesn't just complement hearty lamb dishes and fruity carrot and orange salads and tender potato focaccia. It's a versatile herb that can also be added to desserts, like this sweet rosemary loaf cake by the original domestic goddess. The recipe is from Nigella's book How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking. I've played with the amount of flour - we do not use self-raising flour here in Estonia, so I've had to add baking powder to the recipe. We really enjoyed the cake, even if the idea of rosemary in sweet baking did sound curious in the beginning. But be not afraid - as Nigella herself says, 'there is something muskily aromatic about [rosemary] against the sweet vanilla egginess of the cake'. Exactly.

Nigella suggests you eat this with cold stewed apples. We spooned some softly whipped cream over sliced cake instead.

Nigella Lawson's Rosemary Loaf Cake
(Nigella Lawsoni rosmariinikeeks)
Serves 10

250 g soft butter
200 g caster sugar
3 large eggs
300 g plain/all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) milk

Preheat the oven to 170 C (325-350 F).
Mix flour, salt and baking powder.
Cream the butter until softened, add sugar and cream them both together until pale and smooth and light. Beat in the eggs one at a time, folding in a spoonful of flour after each addition, then add the vanilla extract. Fold in the rest of the flour and finally add the rosemary.
Thin the batter with the milk - you're aiming for a soft, dropping consistency.
Pour the batter into a buttered (or lined with parchment paper) 450 g loaf tin.
Cook for 60 minutes or a bit longer, until a cake-tester comes out clean.
Leave to cool in its tin on a wire rack. When completely cold, unmould and wrap well in foil until you need to eat it.
Keeps well for a few days.


lobstersquad said...

Always had my doubts about that one, but if you like it, then I´m on

K and S said...

Sounds interesting :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Pille, I found this recipe very interesting when I got the book, but havent't tried it yet. Your loaf looks so beautiful I should try it soon!

Rachel said...

This sounds like such an interesting combination that would be perfect for colder weather - I can't wait to try it!

Wendy said...

That woman could make a nail-clipper sound sexy!

Annemarie said...

Ooh, I hadn't come across this before but I'm highly intrigued now. I gave Nigella's contradictory ham boiled in coca cola last night, so after that I believe anything is possible. :)

Zarah Maria said...

This one has been on my list for awhile too, but other things seem to have jumped in front of it. If you like it, I better try it too :)

Dana said...

Oh, this sounds so interesting and delicious!! Mmmmm...

Mandy said...

sounds interesting. Never thought of using rosemary in my sweet recipes. Maybe I will make this cake, since I have some rosemary lying around.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Pille I so enjoy rosemary and instantly can imagine how excellent it would suit a sweet cake like this one. And the best maybe that it will grow outside all winter so there will always be fresh. Beautiful cake.

Anonymous said...

While I haven't used rosemary in a cake before, I have added it to the syrup when poaching pears. It was delicious.


Anonymous said...

Have oggled this one for awhile. Just waiting for a fresh rosemary to come my way.

Rosemary tastes really good with strawberry btw. Did a nice ice cream with that combo last summer, and when I lived in Finland in 2002 there was a really yummy mansikka/rosmariini yoghurt on the market. Sadly no more.

Shaun said...

Pille ~ Yes, I also thought the bread sounded strange, but I'm glad to know there is someone more curious than I am who is willing to test it out! I must say, a loaf of that would be quite good right now, for I'd like something aromatic without going to the effort of producing it myself. However, the instructions seem friendly enough that I could have this prepared and tossed into the oven during my study break today...I'll let you know if I can light the fire from within.

Sylvia said...

I like the recipe,`cos I love rosemary.I should try it. The photo are lovely and yummy.

Laurie Constantino said...

Rosemary Cake is delicious (especially when you make it with a little lemon peel), as are Rosemary Cookies. I hadn't seen Nigella's version, so thanks!

Mariajaan said...

Kus sa oled :(

Maarja said...

I'll try this one definately when back home.

Pille said...

Lobstersquad – well, you should know that Nigella is to be trusted!!

K&S – it was :)

Patricia – I’ve had that recipe bookmarked since I got the book as well – I’m glad I finally gave it a go!

Rachel – I guess the musky cakes are better during winter than summer indeed..

Wendy – LOL!!

Annemarie – I’ve been eyeing that ham-in-coke recipe for a while, but haven’t been brave enough to try it yet..

Zarah Maria – you should indeed!!

Mandy – I’ll be definitely using rosemary in sweet recipes in the future from now on – a great flavour!

Tanna – I was told by my English gardening friends that they cover up their rosemary for winter. And all local gardening books suggest bringing the plant indoors for the winter. Temperatures often drop below 20 C here, and apparently it’s too much (too little?) for rosemary..

Kathryn – rosemary in poaching syrup for pears? It surely does sound delicious – thank you for the tip!

Jennie – rosemary-strawberry pairing is intriguing, too. Sorry to hear there’s no rosemary/strawberry yogurt on the market any more.

Shaun – you know, rosemary is supposed to be good for boosting your memory, so it might be the thing to eat during these days!!

Laurie Constantino – I’ll try adding some lemon peel next time!

SalulaidSolarte – I’m still here. But life’s busy-busy-busy these days..

Mann – I sure hope so :)

Dana and Sylvia – thank you!

Jeanne said...

Rosemary is an interesting herb - its flavours truly do work well with sweet things. I had a chocolate and rosemary soup in Barcelona that was just perfect - the rosemary took the edge off the sweetness without marring the taste of the chocolate - inspired. This sounds like a fantastic cake.

Pearl said...

There was a lot of mixture for the 450g tin and when I added up the weight of the ingredients, it came to more than 1kg including the eggs and apple. Unfortunately it was already in the oven! There is more cake overlapping the tin than in! Didn't anyone else have this problem?

Pille said...

Jeanne - I love rosemary and apricots combination - both in a cake and as a flavour for oven-baked stone fruit!

Pearl - now that you say you weighed the ingredients, it indeed sounds too much for a 450 g tin. I used Nigella's size instructions (see here: . I have two loaf tins, and used the smaller one - but I guess it's bigger than the prescribed 450 g one. Will measure it tomorrow!