Category: Rosemary

Rosemary and Blood Orange Cake

What Katie Ate by Katie Quinn Davies is the featured book on the Cookbook Guru this  month.  I made Katie’s Rosemary and Blood Orange Cake.  It turned out pretty well, despite some massive hesitations on my part. 

Blood Orange and Rosemary Cake2If you are not familiar with Katie Quinn Davies, Ladyredspecs of Please Pass The Recipe wrote a great post on her background and work here

One of the issues she mentions with the recipe she tried, a carrot cake that was definitely on my list to make,  is a certain vagueness Katie has around specific quantities of some ingredients.  This made me chuckle because only a few days before I’d had a very intense (and hilarious) discussion on just that point and it involved rosemary, one of the key ingredients in this cake.

Rosemary and Blood Orange Cake1I mentioned I was thinking of making this cake to the work girls.  One of them visibly paled.  “Go easy on the rosemary” she said. She then told us this awful story of how she had made a rosemary panna cotta for a dinner party and it turned out terribly.

“People were gagging, ” she told us.  “The rosemary was soooo strong”.

We asked how much she put in.  “Four sprigs” she said.  There was then one of those talks which only happens when you really don’t want to go back to work.  How big is a sprig? She thought it was the size of the stick you get in the pack from the supermarket.  I think it is something about the size of your little finger.  One of the girls thought it was about the size of the tip of your little finger.  The internet was not really helpful. So we never really got an answer.  She used four sprigs of rosemary in her gag inducing dish. 

Rosemary and Blood Orange Cake3I got home and checked Katie’s recipe.  It called for three sprigs.

So what to do?  It was less than the panna cotta’s four sprigs and my idea of a sprig was smaller than my friend’s.  But all of a sudden three sprigs seemed like a lot.  Rosemary is a strong flavour.  I really didn’t want people gagging over my cake. 

Aarrggghhhhhh!!!!!

In the end I gave in to fear and used two sprigs.  And, as one of my friends commented “You can’t even taste the rosemary”.  You could taste it could but it was faint.  I should have trusted Katie, I think three sprigs would have been about right. And a more exact measure of rosemary would have been ideal!

The Rosemary and Blood Orange cake looked lovely.  However, my version was quite bland.  This was more than likely my fault for being a coward with the rosemary; it certainly would have been a bit more interesting if that flavour had been stronger.  

Rosemary and Blood Orange Cake2

It was a shame because the orange flavour was pleasant and the structure of the cake was great – the crumb was good, it was moist on the inside and golden on the outside.  It just needed a little something…possibly another sprig of rosemary for it to level up from being a decent, if ordinary cake to something spectacular. 

The cake keeps really well but the rosemary kind of works against it – after a few days it is hard to tell if those little green flecks are rosemary or teeny specks of mould. 

Rosemary and Blood Orange Cake4I would like to say I would try this cake again but currently my spreadsheet of cakes to make contains 500+ recipes.  So, let’s say I bake a cake every week, which I don’t and this goes to the back of the queue, that would mean baking it again in about ten years.

Actually, that seems about right.  Let’s catch up in 2025 for an update on this!

Katie’s recipe, and her stunning photo of this cake can be found here.

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

 

Peachy Keen for Peach Sorbet with Lavender & Rosemary

Summer, and peach season, is pretty much drawing to a close here.   So, if like me, you love the stone fruit, how can you prolong the taste of summer through autumn, winter and spring?  By making this gorgeous sorbet which combines lovely sweet peaches with (ahem)…homegrown lavender and rosemary.  Yes, I have garden produce!!! 

Peach Sorbet Ingredients
Peach Sorbet Ingredients

This is so simple, just these three ingredients, some sugar and water.

Peach Sorbet Ingredients2
Peach Sorbet Ingredients2

 And you get one of the loveliest ice creams ever.   This is really refreshing without being too sweet –  the lavender and rosemary are not overpowering but add a little depth to the fruit and sugar.

AUTUMN – The Sorbet Ma’am, Just The Sorbet

Autumn in Melbourne is lovely.  You get cold crisp mornings, warm days and cool evenings.  To prolong the taste of summer as it starts to get darker and cooler, this peach sorbet is perfect just on it’s own in a cone. All alone.  Like a rolling stone.

Yes.  I think it’s enough now too.  Because I heard you moan and groan.

Really stopping…NOW.

Because just look at this peachy goodness!

Peach Sorbet
Peach Sorbet

WINTER – Baked Peaches With Amaretti and Amaretto and Peach Sorbet

Mmmm…hot baked peach, cold peach sorbet , herby, nutty, sweet and boozy….that’s about all my favourite adjectives right there.  And I totally forgot to take a picture of it before eating half of it.  So I had to borrow a peach off my friend’s plate to take this picture.  Thanks for the peach Monica!!!

Peaches Baked with Amaretti and Amaretto2
Peaches Baked with Amaretti and Amaretto2

 You may be wondering where you are supposed to find peaches in winter?  Well my mum used to make this for us waaaaay back and we only ever used to have it with tinned peaches.  And believe me, this is one of the few things where you will ever hear me say that this works as well (maybe even a little better) with tinned as fresh.

SPRING Into A Peach Sorbet Bellini

Spring in Melbourne means the Spring Racing Carnival which means lots of champagne.  You can really welcome the warmer days by adding a dollop of the peach sorbet into the bottom of your champagne glass for a fabulous take on a Bellini.

 So good even Lulu wants one!

Lavender and Rosemary Bellini2jpg

Lavender and Rosemary Bellini
Lavender and Rosemary Bellini

 Hope your week is peachy keen, jelly bean.

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2   

Peach Sorbet with Lavender and Rosemary (3 ways)
This deliciious and easy to make peach sorbet will bring back the flavour of summer all through the year
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Ingredients
  1. For The Sorbet
  2. 200g sugar
  3. 2 tbsp edible dried lavender
  4. 2 springs of rosemary, about as long as your thumb
  5. 1 kg of peaches
  6. 200g water
To Serve
  1. Ice cream cones
For The Baked Peaches with Amaretto and Amaretti
  1. 4 large peaches, or you can used tinned, in which case you will need 10 halves
  2. 20 crumbled amaretti biscuits
  3. 4 tbsp Amaretto Liqueur
  4. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  5. Butter for greasing the pan
  6. 4 scoops of sorbet
For The Bellini
  1. Sparkling Wine
  2. Rosemary sprigs and lavender sprigs and peach wedges to garnish (optional)
For the Sorbet
  1. Place the sugar, water, lavender and rosemary into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Then simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. With a paring knife, make a small cross into the bottom of each peach. Place in a bowl and pour boiling water over the peaches. Let them sit for a few minutes then tip into a bowl of iced water. The skin should now be quite easy to peel off. Cut the peaches into wedges and place them in the sugar syrup.
  3. Once this mixture is cool, remove the peaches and place them in your blender, strain the syrup to remove the lavender buds and rosemary and add the liquid to the blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a container and chill in freezer for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm.
  5. Serve with ice cream cones or as described below.
For The Baked Peaches with Amaretto and Amaretti
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Lightly butter a baking tray
  3. If using fresh peaches, cut in half, remove the stones and, using a melon baller or a teaspoon, scoop out a little bit more of the peach flesh and place in a small bowl. If using canned peaches, finely dice 2 peach halves and place in a small bowl.
  4. Place the crushed biscuits, the amaretto and 1 tbsp of sugar in the bowl along with the peach flesh. Stir to combine.
  5. Fill the peach halves with this mixture.
  6. Place the peaches onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
  7. If using fresh peaches, bake for around 20 minutes until cooked through then place under a hot grill for the last 5 minutes to really caramelise the topping. If using tinned peaches, bake for 5 minutes, really just to warm the peaches through then place under the grill for the last 5 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately, 2 to a plate with a dollop of sorbet.
For The Bellini
  1. Add a dollop of sorbet to your champagne glass.
  2. Top with sparkling wine.
  3. Garnish as desired.
  4. Enjoy!!!
Notes
  1. I like to leave my biscuit crumbs fairly rustic so they vary in size from crumbs to larger chunks.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

 

 

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