One of my favorite cookbooks is How To Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. Ahh Nigella, you do truly own a piece of my heart with your witty anecdotes and your habit of (very) shamelessly going back for seconds...thirds. She's such a babe, isn't she? Quite bodacious, and her recipes are out-of-this-world delicious, even the more humble ones.
One of the recipes in this book I always go back to is her rosemary loaf cake. This is a beautiful cake, so aromatic and comforting, with an interesting mix of sweet and savory flavors. It goes incredibly well with tea or strong coffee, or, if you're my son, chocolate milk. I've learned over time to let it sit for 2 days before even tasting it--a true exercise in will-power if there ever was one. But seriously, try to wait. It's gloriousness isn't quite there right after its baked. Just eat your weight in cheese or something while the cake sits and becomes amazingly damp and dense. Yum.
Rosemary Loaf Cake
1 cup plus 2 tbsp soft unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups self-rising cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
about 2 tsp chopped rosemary needles
4 tbsp milk
1-2 tbsp brown or white sugar
9 x 5 inch loaf pan, buttered and lined with parchment
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream soft butter and sugar.
Beat in eggs one at a time, folding in a spoonful of flour after each addition. Add the vanilla. Fold in the rest of the flour, then the rosemary. Thin the batter with the milk. Pour into the prepared pan, sprinkle the top with sugar and bake for about an hour. Cool cake in its pan. Serves 8-10.