Olive oil is the most quintessential Mediterranean ingredient – it certainly makes me think of summer, eating al fresco. I love to slosh it on salads, coat my roasted veggies in it, and also – bake with it!
This cake serves as a perfect, sumptuous and easy treat to make for any guests that are lactose intolerant. Olive oil is amazingly versatile; it can even be a delicate and fragrant alternative to butter in cakes and scones. It’s a serious superfood, packed full of anti-oxidants and good fats. Lemons also are bursting with vitamin C, and rosemary is renowned for its digestion-improving and memory and concentration-boosting qualities.
I like to use real olive oil like extra virgin Greek, French or Italian full-bodied stuff, as it perfectly complements the sharpness of the lemon and the aroma of the rosemary – making this cake an absolute winner.
Serve with a large dollop of Greek yogurt to be transported to a Cycladic island with every bite…
Makes 1x 9-inch cake
- 1¼ cups plus 2 tsp Andriotis olive oil; plus more for greasing cake tin
- 1 cup plus 2 tsp sugar
- 2 cups plain flour
- ⅓ cup ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
To decorate – a sprig of fresh rosemary and some slices of lemon
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F
- Drizzle bottom and sides of cake tin with oil and use your fingers to coat it well.
- Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and smooth to eliminate air bubbles. Generously sprinkle pan with sugar and tilt to coat in an even layer and tap out excess.
- Whisk plain flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to combine well – so there are no lumps.
- Next mix the lemon juice and vanilla in a small bowl.
- Whisk thoroughly in a large bowl the eggs, lemon zest, and sugar until fluffy. Keep on whisking and gently add the olive oil until incorporated and mixture is even thicker.
- Next add the dry ingredients (flour, ground almonds, baking soda, baking powder, rosemary and salt) in 3 additions – fold batter several times with a large rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of bowl. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and sprinkle with a little sugar – this will help the crust become perfectly crispy.
- Place cake in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until top is golden brown, centre is firm to the touch, and a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, 40–50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 15 minutes.
- Poke holes all over top of cake with a toothpick or skewer and then drizzle the remaining 2 tbsp of oil letting it soak in.
- Remove the cake from the tin and place on a rack to let it cool completely.
- NB. For the best flavour, wrap cake in plastic and let sit at room temperature at least a day before serving.
This recipe is courtesy of Amelia Stewart from CookFirst. For more recipes, please visit www.cookfirst.co.uk