Friday, 19 May 2017

Olive Oil, Orange & Rosemary Cake Recipe

I'm mad for cakes but I'm also mad about healthy eating, so any recipes that I can find for 'healthy' cakes, well, I'm all in! What do I mean healthy cakes? Well, if the butter and milk is substituted for olive oil, which gives a very moist and smooth consistency and where most or all of the white sugar is substituted for brown and the recipes doesn't use much. That's about the best we can hope for. I have tried making vegan raw cakes and whilst they are edible, I would not describe them as delicious.

So I saw this recipe in the International New York Times newspaper and the original version of this cake is by top British chef Yotam Ottolenghi but I've tweaked the recipe just a wee bit. And yes, there is an element to this cake that is a bit of a hassle but it is worth doing if you can be bothered...

For the Crystallized Rosemary:
12 small rosemary sprigs. That is the little tops of each sprig
1 egg white lightly whisked
2 teaspoons granulated or superfine sugar.

For the Cake:
2 cups/240 grams all purpose flour
3/4 cup /160 ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup / 120 grams brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 large orange)
2 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary (be careful to only take the leaves, no twigs)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup / 130 grams sour cream 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Icing:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
enough Icing sugar to mix into a smooth and pourable icing

1. Prepare the crystallised rosemary.
use tweezers or similar to pinch the very ends of the little sprigs of rosemary, one at a time. Dip them in the whisked egg white, brush off the excess egg and them dip them into the sugar, making sure they are coated evenly. Put them aside on a plate and allow the crystallising process about 6 hours before you use them.

2. Making the cake.
Heat oven to 170 Degrees C and line the bottom a baking tray with baking paper, around 25 x 20 cm. I usually let the paper go up the sides too. 
Put olive oil, brown sugar (make sure there are no lumps) orange zest and chopped rosemary leaves in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until combined then add the eggs and whisk for another minute until thick. Add the sour cream and mix on low speed for another minute.
Add sifted flour, baking powder and salt to the olive oil mixture and mix for about 1 to 2 minutes.
Scrape the lovely batter into the baking tray and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before you turn it out onto a board.

TIPS!! If you have a bread board with a groove all around the edge, this is a good idea to use incase you miscalculate the runniness of your icing. Then if it runs off the cake it will catch in the grooves and you can scoop it back up and put it on the cake again. As it dries it hardens so you only need do this for about 5 minutes

3. Making the icing.
Put the juices into a small bowl and begin to add the icing sugar. You will need a surprisingly large amount of the stuff. Just keep mixing until you have a smooth and fairly thick consistency. You want it to run a bit so that it will spread thinly and evenly over the whole cake and down the sides. This icing is intense so it is important that the end result is a very thin layer on the cake, otherwise it will overwhelm.
When the cake is cooled you can drizzle the icing over. Once the icing has hardened you can mark out the cut lines and add a crystallised sprig of rosemary to the centre of each square.

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