This year I decided that despite not having a garden, or much outdoor space, I would try my hand at growing a range of herbs and some tomatoes.
Now while the tomatoes are yet to show any signs of life, my rosemary plant is happy, healthy and brimming with life so I thought instead of using it all for roast dinners and hot meals, why not add into a cake mixture.
Instead of using butter, I’ve opted for olive oil (vegetable oil to be exact) in this one to make sure it’s moist, dense and sticky and lasts for a few days before going dry.
Apple and rosemary are the perfect partners and with a little cinnamon and mixed spices thrown in it makes the perfect smelling (our flat smelt delicious for hours) and tasting cake.
As there’s no icing on top, it’s also pretty easy to transport, or wrap in baking paper and give as a gift – especially handy given that Father’s Day is fast approaching.
110g caster sugar
110g dark brown sugar
150g self raising flour
A pinch of salt
120ml vegetable oil
2 eggs, large, at room temperature
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary
2 apples chopped (I used braeburn but feel free to pick your own variety)
For the topping…
1 apple, cut into slices
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 tbsp of brown sugar
How to make…
Preheat the oven to 180C/160 fan/Gas 3 and line a round 8 inch cake tin with baking paper (sides and the bottom).
Mix the sugars and oil together until well blended (a minute with an electric mixer, two without), and then add in the eggs, one at a time.
Stir in the chopped rosemary and set aside.
Take the chopped apples (in small cubes) and put into a small saucepan with 50g of the brown sugar until softened (around three minutes simmering) and then leave to cool.
Next weigh the flour and sieve into the wet mixture along with the spices. Stir in the apple mixture and mix everything in together, this should take two minutes in an electric mixer.
You don’t want to over-beat the mixture, just have it at the point when everything is mixed in properly.
Next pour the cake mixture into your prepared tin, scatter the remaining apple pieces on top along with a couple of sprigs of rosemary and the brown sugar.
Put the cake into the oven and bake for around 45 minutes (or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean).
Once the cake is done, leave it to cool before eating, if you can. The flavours will get stronger the longer you leave it and it can be kept in a cake tin or tupperware for up to a week – I guarantee it won’t last that long though.