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Tea And Cake? Perfect

Nigella’s Rosemary Loaf Cake

I have been meaning to make this cake for about a year. So glad I finally got around to it, because it was just the thing to have with a nice cup of tea. The recipe is more or less as it appears in Nigella’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess [1] book. She uses a mixture of self-raising and plain flour, but I’ve just specified plain flour plus baking powder here. And I’ve added a pinch of salt. I’ve learned that from Jenni [2]. Nigella also specifies golden caster sugar, but you could use other brown sugar, white caster sugar or even regular sugar.

Rosemary Loaf Cake

You’ll need:
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary needles
  • approx 4 tblsp milk
  • 1-2 tblsp rosemary sugar [3] or caster sugar for sprinkling on top
You’ll also need:
  • A loaf tin – 23 x 13 x 7cm – greased and lined
The Steps:
  • Preheat your oven to 170C, grease your tin and line with greaseproof paper.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  • Cream the butter until very soft, then add the sugar and continuing creaming until pale and smooth.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, folding in a spoonful of the flour mixture after each addition, then add the vanilla.
  • Fold in the rest of the flour and then add the chopped rosemary.
  • Thin the batter with milk until you have a soft dropping consistency.
  • Pour into the tin and sprinkle with the additional rosemary sugar or caster sugar.
  • Cook for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Mine actually took more like 1 hour 20 minutes to cook.
  • Leave to cool in the tin, sitting on a wire rack, then remove from the tin and have a slice (or two) with a nice cup of tea. You could also follow Nigella’s suggestion and serve it along with some stewed apple.
The Variations:
  • I might add some lemon zest next time around. I felt like doing that this time, but thought I should get to know the original first.
  • Next time, I might use Jenni’s latest baking suggestion and replace the milk with some softly whipped cream [4] for a more melty cake.
The Results:
  • One cake, which you may or may not feel like sharing with others.