Baking the Perfect Cake to Remind us of Italy
by Anna Hewitt
For the whole of 2013, Ollie and I were doing the big LD. He lived in Taipei, Taiwan and I lived in Auckland, New Zealand. We figured it was worth it as it meant I got my teacher’s registration and he got us a visa for the States, but it was pretty hard. To break up the year, we met in Europe, visited my sister who was living in Paris and some good friends who were honeymooning in Italy.
While we were in Italy we drank lots of coffee and red wine, we ate obscene amounts of pasta and we looked at beautiful churches. We stayed with Courtney and Craig in a beautiful farm house in Tuscany, recommended by an Italian friend in Auckland. When we arrived, the dark clouds threatened rain and the countryside around us smelt of earth and the start of autumn. Stepping through the old doors, we were welcomed by a warm olive oil and lemon cake sitting on the big wooden table, it smelt incredible. We had espresso and cake and looked out over the olive groves as the sun peeked through the clouds. It felt like we were in a postcard. Italy.
Since then, both Courtney and I have been obsessed with olive oil cake. I made one the other day that tasted like disinfectant, but she sent me through the recipe for this one I made today. Heaven.
Olive Oil and Lemon Cake
3/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
I vanilla pod
1 1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 2/3 cup brown sugar
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
Whisk all the wet ingredients then add the flour and baking powder. Pour into a greased loaf tin and cook in the oven for 45 minutes at 180. Both the lemon and olive oil make this cake taste really fresh, mellowed by the vanilla and yoghurt. Perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon, but it would also be delicious with vanilla ice cream after dinner.
You can also add finely chopped rosemary to this recipe for the ultimate cake.
P.S. The pretty Europe photos are by Ollie. You can see more of his stuff here.