I must admit that I have a tiny cinnamon obsession. I find an excuse to add it to everything – porridge, tea and winter curries. Even my boyfriend added it to the spaghetti bolognese the other night (although I think this was accidental).
I first discovered my love for cinnamon while living in London when I discovered the Nordic Bakery in Soho who have the best cinnamon buns in town.
Cinnamon also has a number of health benefits. It’s often used to treat muscle spasms, colds and infection and half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower your bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Just smelling cinnamon can boost cognitive function and memory.
One of my favourite cinnamon recipes is this Cinnamon and Raisin Loaf. It’s dead easy to make and the sour cream gives the loaf a beautiful, moist texture. Divide the batter into two batches and swivel with a skewer to give the cake a beautiful marbled effect.
If you like a stronger cinnamon taste just double the cinnamon. Within minutes of being in the oven, the sweet aroma of cinnamon will fill your kitchen. Trust me – your housemates will be thanking you later.
Just follow these five simple steps for the perfect loaf.
Serves 8 – 10
You Will Need:
- 190g unsalted butter
- 190g plain flour
- 190g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 25ml sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 70g raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 170C (325F), Gas mark 3, then grease the loaf tin with butter and dust with flour.
2. Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Break the eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then add to the batter in two batches and mix on a low-speed until just incorporated. Finally, mix in the soured cream and vanilla essence.
4. Spoon about 200g (7oz) of the batter into a small bowl and stir in the cinnamon. Stir the raisins into the remaining batter, then pour this batter into the prepared loaf tin. Spoon the cinnamon batter on top and swirl the two together for a marbled effect.
5. Bake the loaf in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until the sponge feels firm on top and a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean of any uncooked batter. Allow the loaf to cool a little before turning it out of the tin on to a wire rack to cool completely before you serve it.
Based on a Hummingbird Bakery Recipe