This Thursday was the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year – so I wanted to share a recipe for something perfectly Summery and a wee bit special to mark the occasion. Enter this chocolate, rosemary and olive oil loaf: pretty enough to make a centrepiece to Solstice celebrations, decorated with flowers and bunches of fresh rosemary around it, but simple enough to mean you’re not slaving for hours in the kitchen on a hot day! The herbaceous note of the rosemary marries perfectly with the rich chocolate and nutty olive oil. If your rosemary plant is looking as abundant as ours, it’s a great way to use the herb in something a little bit different. And if you’re not a chocolate fan (though I’m not sure we can be friends) you could make these Greek yoghurt cheesecakes with rosemary and honeycomb instead. To make the cake, via Anna Jones in the Guardian, you will need:
300g light spelt or plain flour
125g light muscovado sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
1 good pinch sea salt
3 medium eggs
250ml olive oil
150ml milk (dairy milk or plant based)
2 sprigs rosemary, needles only, finely chopped
150g chocolate, chopped into 1cm pieces
2tbsp demerara sugar.
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Oil and line a 1kg loaf tin. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and use a whisk to mix together, making sure there are no lumps of baking powder.
In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the olive oil, milk and rosemary and mix together.
Now fold the olive oil mix into the dry ingredients, gently folding until just combined, but no more – otherwise the cake will be heavy.
Stir in most of the chocolate, saving a little for the top. Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth over. Scatter the rest of the chocolate over the surface, pushing the pieces down into the mixture a little so they are half covered, then scatter over the demerara for a crunchy top.
Bake for around 40 minutes, or until it is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Enjoy in the sunshine.
What are you baking this weekend?