I’ve got a very simple cake for you to try this weekend. It’s the type of cake you can bake in a matter of minutes, then pop into a cake tin and come back and cut of a slice every time you need a sit down with a cup of tea. The cake is made with olive oil and yoghurt, making it beautifully moist, with a deliciously tender crumb. It keeps well in the tin and you can enjoy it over the course of a week without it turning dry.
Its a cake flavoured with a Mediterranean lemon freshness. The rosemary adds a subtle, aromatic note. I was a little dubious how rosemary would taste in a cake. I love lemon and rosemary as a combination in savoury dishes, in fact thats exactly how i’ll be cooking my roast chicken tonight, but in a cake? The taste is very slight though, it helps to bring out the lemon, and adds some beautiful background notes. The smell as the cake bakes is so, so good.
Make sure you chop the rosemary as finely as you can, this will help release the oils and ensure you don’t have any jarring hard lumps as you bite into the cake.
This is a cake that makes me think of Italy, or Greece. Its the type of cake that I think should be enjoyed on a sunny terrace, under the dappled shade of a lemon tree. There should be blue and white tiles on the floor, we should be barefoot, curling our legs under the table. The crockery should be mismatched, a little chipped, full of character. In our hands should be a glass of cold, crisp white wine, condensation beading on the cool glass. Light bounces and ripples off a sky blue sea just below us. Maybe we’re hiding from the mid day sun, sleepy in the heat, waiting for the sun to go down.
If, however, you’re at home this weekend, dreaming of the sun, this cake is equally delicious served sat on the sofa, cup of tea in hand, where ever you may be.
Lemon, Rosemary and Olive Oil Cake
(adapted, heavily, from Orange Olive Oil Cake)
160g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 large eggs
80ml olive oil
200g natural yoghurt
juice & zest of 2 lemons
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Grease and line a springform round 8inch cake tin.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
Ensure your rosemary is chopped as finely as you can get it. Stir through the dry ingredients.
Measure the sugar into a separate bowl.
Crack in the eggs and beat into the sugar until the mixture is foamy.
Add in the olive oil, yoghurt, lemon juice and lemon zest.
Beat the mixture together until combined.
Pour half of the wet mixture into the dry, mix together, then add the rest of the wet ingredients.
Pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for 25 minutes, until risen, golden and firm to the touch.
Cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.