Damp, almondy, citrus cakes are one of my favourite kinds, I especialy love the ones that are so drenched in syrup that it leaves a sticky film on your fingers and are practically juicy. This cake ticks all the right boxes: very, very syrupy, gloriously dense, with the added bonus of a surprise flavour: rosemary! Its very subtle but it makes quite a difference, and I find myself really liking the pairing of this usually savoury herb with sweet desserts. I was first and foremost motivated to use rosemary in this cake for economic reasons- I had already bought a bunch for the apricot jam I made a few days back and didnt want to waste it! Being frugal has its rewards I suppose. Also, Id first encountered rosemary in a cake in Nigella Lawsons recipe for Lemon Rosemary pound cake back in 2005 (!!) then again at a café across LCB which serves their version of orange-rosemary cake (which is awfully expensive!) so I thought its about time I made a cake with rosemary in it. I was very specific about what I wanted: 1) it needs to be made with olive oil 2) flourless 3) very orangey 4) drenched in syrup so it took me well over an hour to find a recipe that seemed right.. and found it on BBC Good Food..or Viagra IT doh!! I just replaced the saffron with rosemary, but next time Id replace one of the oranges with lemon, I think itd be better slightly more tart. I ate mine with double cream but its very lovely with raspberry coulis too, like how they do it at the café.
Apricots need a bit of coaxing from heat. Theyre pretty insipid and spongy/mushy when raw but roasting, jamming, or stewing concentrates their flavour and makes them very, very apricoty. I really liked the combination of rosemary and apricot so I roasted them with a few sprigs of rosemary and also some honey, sugar, Jurançon (which is SO good) and a few chunks of butter. After 24 minutes of roasting at 180°, the apricots collapse into soft, jammy sacs bursting with flavour and the liquid reduces to a thick syrup. I ate about 4 whole apricots (!) on its own.. they were just too hard to resist. I also made a goats cheese bavarois and almond-oat crumble to accompany the apricots but I think Ill just eat them all on its own in the end..
Crisp meringue, cool, creamy mascarpone and tart, buttery roasted apricots = heavenly! And if you havent got any apricots just the meringues and mascarpone make a delicious pair as well.
This is the ultimate summer biscuit- buttery biscuit, sweet peaches and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on top. The recipe is Joy the Bakers and its genius- theres buttermilk in it which makes it soft and just a bit tangy and plenty of butter. The dough is very sticky but this makes the scone tender and moist when baked. I imagine itll be super good split in half and filled with whipped double cream..