A Summer Cake on a Winter Day
April 29, 2012
I’ve made this cake lots of times but always in the middle of the summer. It’s decorated with delicate lilac rosemary flowers so seasonally I suppose it’s a cake for spring/summer. I’ve been eyeing the huge rosemary plant in our garden for weeks now, watching the flowers bud them bloom and slowly get bedraggled and washed away by the incessant rain. I wanted to make it while I could still use the flowers as it feels quite possible that we could wake up tomorrow and be under 3ft of snow.
Honey, cinnamon and finely chopped rosemary give the cake a subtle musky flavour and the texture is a little like gingerbread. It is really, really good and it seems just right on a day when the rain was horizontal and winter coats were dug out again.
The recipe is by Tessa Kiros and you can find it in her beautiful book Apples for Jam, which I will freely admit to buying purely for the picture of the little red T-bar shoes on the cover.
150g / 5.5oz butter
115g / 4oz dark brown sugar
175g / 6oz runny honey
200g / 7oz plain flour
1.5 tspn baking powder
half tspn ground cinnamon
1 tbspn finely chopped rosemary
2 eggs beaten
For the icing:
250g / 9oz icing sugar
100g / 3.5oz butter
1 tspn grated lemon zest
2 tbspn lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180oC / Gas 4.
Grease and line the bottom of a 22cm / 8.5 inch springform cake tin.
Melt the butter, sugar and honey in a small pan and add 1 tbspn water, remove from the heat and leave for at least 15 minutes to cool.
Sieve the flour, cinnamon and baking powder into a large bowl, add the chopped rosemary and mix together.
Add the cooled honey mixture and the eggs, mix all together and pour into the greased tin.
Bake for 35-40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean from the middle of the cake.
Allow to cool completely in the tin.
To make the icing mix the icing sugar with the softened butter, add the lemon zest and juice and mix together.
Spread on the cooled cake and decorate with scattered flowers.
Light the fire.
Make pot of tea.
Put the Muppet Movie on and ignore the wettest drought that there has surely ever been.