I’m always looking for some new cake ideas and for something that is a bit more than just sweet. Using rosemary and brown butter just sounded delicious to me and I had to try it out. Let me say that this was one of the best cakes I’ve ever made!
The cake itself was really moist and the rosemary complimented it so nicely. The brown butter frosting is slightly salty and has almost a caramel-like taste to it. The lemon curd filling being slightly sour and also sweet went so well with the herb. Overall it is quite heavy but doesn’t feel overly sweet so it’s just perfect as a dessert or for tea time. I will definitely make it again.
The dough recipe I used was for a cake with two layers. If you want four like it’s shown on the website, you’ll need to double the amount. I also made the lemon curd after that page and the frosting comes from here. The instructions come in three steps and because everything needs to cool down, I would advise you to make them a day before serving or at least let the curd and the brown butter sit overnight.
Rosemary cake base
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
2 tbsp grated lime zest (I used 6 limes)
1 1/4 cups sugar
175 g soft salted butter
a few drops bitter almond
2 1/4 flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup coconut milk (I made my own but I’m sure you can use the canned one)
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Chop the rosemary really fine and mix it with the lime zest and sugar. Use a muddler, a pestle or your fingers to mash the rosemary into the sugar to release the oils. Add the butter and beat the mixture until it’s light and fluffy. Then add the bitter almond and the eggs one by one. Beat until the mixture is thick and has a light colour.
In a second bowl mix together the flour and baking powder. Alternate adding the flour and the coconut milk to the butter/sugar mixture and end with the flour. Don’t overbeat it. Mix everything until it’s evenly incorporated.
Prepare a small springform or a baking ring. I used a baking ring of around 22-23 cm but you can use a smaller one if you want a taller cake. Just make sure to adjust the baking time! I put a parchment paper on the bottom and greased the walls with butter. Afterwards I poured some bread crumbs on it, so the batter wouldn’t stick to the walls.
Bake for 40-45 minutes but it will depend on your oven. Make sure the check it with a wooden stick before you remove the cake from the oven. If it’s still too sticky, put it back. When it’s done let it cool down completely before cutting the cake in half and filling it with lemon curd. You can also prepare the cake base the day before.
Because this post will be quite long I will direct you to my recipe for the lemon curd. It was my first try in making some and it tasted really great. I will make another batch for scones or bread soon. It was enough to for the cake plus a small jar. It should be cooled down before you fill the cake, so you can as well prepare it a day before.
Spread it evenly on the bottom layer. You can use as much or as little as you want. Put the second layer carefully on top and then you can add the frosting.
1 1/3 cups salted butter
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
Heat the butter on the stove on medium heat until it’s melted. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat. Then add the finely chopped rosemary. Make sure it’s chopped really well so you won’t bite on bigger pieces later! Keep the butter boiling slightly. It will develope a foam but you don’t need to stir it. Just wait until it changes its colour to golden brown. It will smell really dark and caramel-like. There will be little dark pieces of butter in it. Don’t worry about them, they taste delicious!
When the butter is done, pour it in a bowl and cover with foil. Leave it overnight or until it’s firm enough to make the buttercream. I left it overnight and then let it sit in room temperature until was soft enough to be used.
For the frosting slowly mix powder sugar and honey with the butter. The more sugar you add, the more firm the frosting will get. It should be soft enough to be spread easily onto the cake. Add more honey if it’s too salty for your taste. Cover the sides and the top of the cake with the frosting and be careful not to squeeze it too much. Otherwise the lemon curd will come out. But the cake in the fridge until serving and enjoy!