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Monday, 24 November 2008
I have looked at the recipe for this cake for the longest time in 'Feast' by Nigella Lawson. The rosemary always put me off for some reason. I made it finally for a memorial cook-in we were having for our dear departed friend Pi on Vi's Pantry. As it was Remembrance week end it seemed appropriate for that too. It is a very easy cake to make. I am just sorry I have not made it sooner. It is wonderfully moist with a madeira like texture and just a slight taste of Rosemary which complements so well. This amazed me as I was convinced it would make the cake taste strange. Even if you don't like rosemary I urge you to try it. It is a lovely cake with or without the herb.
Rosemary Remembrance Cake
Makes approx. 10 slices
1 eating apple (approx. 180g /6-7oz in weight)
1 small sprig and 1 long sprig rosemary
1 teaspoon caster sugar
Juice and zest of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon butter
For the cake batter
225g /8 oz butter
150g /5 oz caster sugar plus 1 tablespoon
300g /11oz plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Peel, core and roughly chop the apple and put into a saucepan with the small spig of rosemary, the teaspoon of sugar, the lemon zest and juice, and butter. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for 4-8 minutes until the apple is soft. How long this takes really depends on the variety of apple you’re using. Coxes cook the fastest, and are good here. Leave to cool, and fish out the rosemary sprig when it is cold.
Preheat the oven to 170.C/325.F/Gas 3. Line a 2 lb loaf tin with a loaf tin liner, or butter and line the bottom with baking parchment.
Put the cooled apple into a food processor and blitz to a pulp.
Then add the butter, 150g sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder and process to a smooth batter. Spoon and scrape into the loaf tin and smooth the top.
Sprinkle the surface with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and then lay the long sprig of rosemary along the centre of the cake.
On baking, the rosemary sheds its oil to leave a scented path down the middle of the cake.
Bake the cake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean, then leave to cool on a rack. Slip the paper-lined cake out of the tin once it is cool.
This is also lovely if the Rosemary is left out and a good teaspoon of cinnamon is cooked with the apples instead.