A couple weeks ago I wrote about my container herb garden and since then my plants have more than doubled in size. The strawberry plant is humongous, as are the oregano and rosemary plants growing beside it. And my sage plant? Well, just look at the photo below. One sage leaf is nearly as big as the length of my hand! It’s incredible what a little late springtime rain and sunshine will do.
With succulent sage leaves growing right outside my window I couldn’t resist the temptation to make a little magic in the kitchen yesterday. At Zoë’s suggestion, I made a honey-sage ice cream that I hope to share with you in a couple weeks. Then I made a rustic sage cake, flavored with whole milk steeped with seven large sage leaves and decorated with an equal number of baby leaves.
This is an easy cake with just the right amount of sweetness and the slight peppery undertone of sage. I sampled my first slice around 1:00AM (because that’s when it came out of the oven and come on, what baker can resist tasting the fruits of her labor, regardless of the hour?) then enjoyed another slice around 10:00AM today, this time with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and a scoop of David’s luscious vanilla ice cream. What can I say, my ice cream maker has been busy lately. You should see my freezer, all stocked with vanilla ice cream, lavender ice cream and chai ice cream. Which is how it should be in summertime right?
Hope you had a lovely long weekend!
Rustic Sage Cake
Adapted from this recipe at How Stuff Works
Helpful Tip: Since this recipe calls for egg yolks only, freeze the individual whites in an ice cube tray, then transfer them to a Ziploc bag for easy storage. Next time you want to make a recipe that calls for whites you’ll already have some on hand!
- 14 fresh sage leaves (7 large leaves for steeping and 7 baby leaves for decoration)
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round, springform cake pan with PAM or another baking spray.
In small saucer combine the milk and 7 large sage leaves, torn into thirds. Warm over medium heat until the milk is very hot. Set aside to steep for 15 minutes.
While the milk is steeping, sift the cake flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, mixing well with a whisk.
In a small bowl combine the yolks, sugar, olive oil and vanilla.
Strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve, then add half of the milk, and the yolk mixture, to the bowl with the cake flour, stirring to combine. Add the remaining milk, mixing well.
Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and decoratively arrange seven small sage leaves on top of the batter. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake is lightly golden and starts to pull away from the edges of the pan.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edges and remove the sides of the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream if you like.
Vanilla Ice Cream
I used David Lebovitz’s recipe to make the ice cream shown above. You can find his recipe here.