This cake has become my cake of 2011, second only to this one. I made it on holiday for summery afternoon tea and then for cake club and then for my late Nana's 90th celebrations and again and again at home. It's sweet, dark, fresh and comforting. I mostly followed Tessa Kirros's recipe from her book Apples for Jam.
116g dark or light brown sugar
175g runny honey
200g plain flour
2 heaped teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves
2 free range eggs, beaten
Lavender flowers and chopped rosemary to decorate (Tessa uses rosemary flowers which are also purple, so you could use them if you have some. I prefer the fragrant lavender).
250g icing sugar
100g soft (but not melted) butter
Zest from two lemons, juice from one half (about three tablespoons)
Grease your cake tin (ideally 22cm) and pre heat oven to 180'C.
Melt butter, sugar and honey with 1 tablespoon of water in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Allow sugar to dissolve. Cool this mixture for 10-15 minutes.
Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a mixing bowl, add rosemary, honey mixture and eggs. Beat until silky smooth.
Pour into your tin and bake for 30-40 minutes. Test with a skewer which should be dry after spearing the centre of the cake. Leave to cool in the tin.
Next sift the icing sugar into another mixing bowl, add butter, lemon zest and gradually the juice and stir until smooth. Spread liberally onto the cake. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and lavender flowers to finish.
As you can see, this cake also works as a layer cake if you make double quantities of everything, divide the cake into two tins and sandwich and top with icing!