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Olive oil and rosemary cake August 28, 2011

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Fruit, Sweet things.
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While I’ve saved this under my ‘sweet things’ category, and it certainly is a cake, part of the interest this cake has is in its not-quite-sweet-not-quite-savoury quality. I saw someone tweeting about this cake (I’ve forgotten whose tweet it was, apologies!) and was curious regarding the use of both olive oil and rosemary in an apparently sweet cake. I followed this recipe for the cake, but as you’ll see, I didn’t make the fig relish but instead made a apple and pear mix to serve with it.

Rather than bothering to get out my mixer, I used a whisk to mix all the ingredients together – including the olive oil and some white wine.

I mixed in all the flour, and ended up with a nice thick batter dotted with pieces of rosemary.

I used a slightly smaller pan than the one listed in the recipe, and ended up having to cook it longer than the time specified. However, this turned out to be a bonus, as it gave me time to cook down some diced apples and pears to act as a type of sauce for the cake. I chopped apples and pears, and cooked them with some orange juice, grand marnier, and some of the celery salt I’d made – my idea was to match the sweet/savoury nature of the cake with the fruit.

The cake ended up taking almost a full hour to cook – but it was well worth it, as it came out very tall and even!

I cut a few slices of the cake and served it with some of the fruit.

I thought this cake was delicious. I loved the flavours of the olive oil and rosemary, which, while savoury, did not detract from the overall characteristics of this cake as sweet and quite light. The cake was dense without being heavy. The fruit was a nice addition, although I wished I’d left the fruit with a bit more sauce.

This is a type of cake I think Nero Wolfe would really enjoy, given his history of combining sweet and savoury flavours in different ways. It’s strange to think of a cake as refreshing, but I felt that the rosemary gave it such a nice fresh touch compared to a lot of other cakes. Next time I’d serve it with a more of a sauce-like topping, but overall I was very happy with the result.

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