Unlike some people, I really like savory ingredients in pastries (within reason; bacon can be tricky). It also helps that rosemary is my favorite herb.
This is a recipe from the williams-sonoma New Flavors for desserts book. Great rustic recipes.
In addition to the cake, there is a port wine sauce with dried figs, cooked together.
When serving, you don’t want to drown the cake with the figs, rather generously drizzle.
PHOTOS: DANIELLE BILTON
2 cups dried figs
8 juniper berries
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup port
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter
4 small sprigs fresh rosemary
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 5 3/4-by-3 1/8-inch mini loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
Enclose the juniper berries and peppercorns in a tea ball or bag and place in a saucepan. Add the port,2/3 cup of sugar, and the cinnamon sticks and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the dried figs and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let sit for 1 hour.
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and add 3 rosemary sprigs, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard rosemary.
While the rosemary steeps, pluck the leaves from the remaining sprig and coarsely chop the leaves. In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and chopped rosemary.
Using a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the whole eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla until combined. Add the remaining 1 cup sugar and beat until pale and thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in 2 batches, mixing only until a few dry streaks remain. Up the speed to medium-low and drizzle in rosemary-infused butter. Increase the speed to medium and beat until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pans.
Bake the cakes until domed, brown around the edges, and a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 40 minutes. let cool for 5 minutes and serve.
To serve, slice the pound cakes and serve with the port-soaked figs.