It's officially mid-summer, if you go by the lunar calendar - yesterday was the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere. Once again we've had pretty unseasonal weather here - some really cold days with north winds, but yesterday was one of those warm days which make you think of summer cooking - lighter flavours and seasonal ingredients. I'm a bit hampered by the Chief Tester here, as he doesn't like much summer fruit, so there's no point baking it into anything I expect him to eat. The next best thing would be a cake to eat with some of the fruit from the garden, and it would make it really seasonal if it could include some of the herbs we have growing at the moment.
A long search online, using various ideas for herby cakes eventually turned up this Cornmeal Rosemary Cake with Orange Glaze from the blog Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Punch. I didn't really want to put the glaze on top, if I was going to use it as a dessert cake, but otherwise it fitted the bill perfectly - basic ingredients and flavours that the CT would eat, and it used a herb which I had growing in abundance. I've never used rosemary in sweet baking but was willing to take a chance on it.
I did a quick conversion to metric weights, and followed the slightly unusual method for the cake exactly.
Ingredients: 200g plain flour; 100g polenta; 35g pine nuts (toasted and coarsely chopped); 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves; 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest; 1 teaspoon baking powder; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 165g cream cheese; 4 eggs; 270g sugar; 115g unsalted butter, melted.
For the syrup to brush over the cake I used the juice of one large orange and 2 tablespoons of sugar, and after heating, I left 3 small sprigs of rosemary infusing in the syrup while the cake cooked.