Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Sweet Wine and Olive Oil Cake

There are plenty of recipes for cakes made with olive oil knocking about but not too many that use a dessert wine as well. Well here's one that I found under a bush in the Languedoc. It produces a moist cake with a fruity flavour that's a little bit different to the norm. Since it's a bit different, I'm not sure that it's the typical British afternoon tea cake, unless your chosen beverage is a fruit tea or maybe a fragrant Earl Grey. Admittedly, others who have tried the cake disagree and like the fact that it adds variety, so what do I know? On the other hand, I do know that it works really well as a dessert cake alongside some fruit and maybe a little crème anglaise or cream. I paired it with a poached pear this time, which is lovely but isn't particularly Languedoc. Poached apricots or peaches would probably be more of a southern French choice.
Sweet Wine and Olive Oil Cake
This is a very straightforward cake to make but it's important to choose the wine and oil carefully. Don't choose a rich and toffee-like dessert wine (save that for drinking or send it to me and I'll drink it for you). This cake needs a fruitier and less sticky style: a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise would be a good choice but a Muscat de Rivesaltes, a Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh or a Monbazillac would all be fine. As for the oil, choose one that's fruity rather than peppery.
Sweet Wine and Olive Oil Cake
Because I serve this mainly as part of a dessert, I keep the size of the slices small and I can get something like 14 portions out of one cake, but you really don't have to be that stingy. The cake keeps pretty well in an airtight tin and freezes well too.

3 eggs
150 g golden caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
80 ml sweet wine
100 ml olive oil (plus extra for the tin)
180 g plain flour, sifted (plus a tablespoon for sprinkling in the tin)
1 heaped tsp baking powder
Icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 160⁰C (or a bit higher if it's not a fan oven). Line the base of a 20 cm tin with baking parchment, rub the interior with a little olive oil and sprinkle evenly with a tablespoon of flour.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together thoroughly until they're very pale. Keep whisking gently while you add the wine, the olive oil and the lemon zest. Stop whisking, add the flour and baking powder to the bowl and sir in gently but thoroughly. Pour into the prepared tin.

Bake in the preheated oven for around 45 minutes. Test the cake with a knife or cake tester. The knife should come out clean but the cake may seem a little more moist than you expect. Don't worry, that's as it should be.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for about ten minutes before turning out to cool completely on a rack. Before serving, you could sprinkle with some icing sugar or even top with a little thin icing made with more sweet wine or lemon or maybe both. Personally, I don't think either finish is really needed if this cake is to be part of a dessert but it's possible that I'm just being a bit lazy.

7 comments:

  1. Phil, this looks wonderful! How deep is your 20 cm tin? This is going on my to-do list. It's so beautiful with the poached pear and crème anglaise. Though by the time I get around to making it, it might be peach season. So many things to make, so little time!

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    1. The tin is 6 cm deep and the cake rises to about 5 cm in the middle - well, it does for me anyway.

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  2. It sounds divine, perfect with poached fruit.
    I'm never sure about tea with cake. Tea with anything other than a plain biscuit I find unpalatable these days somehow. Maybe I should try something other than basic builders' tea and see how that goes down.

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    1. I'd like to say that tea and cake doesn't appeal to me these days for healthy eating reasons, but I wouldn't be telling the truth. Sadly (for my waistline if not for my happiness levels), a cup of Assam tea and a slice of cake is still deeply pleasing to me. But then, so is cake and custard or fruit or just cake on its own.

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  3. This sounds good. Like the idea of serving it with the pear. I admit to regularly having tea with a slice of cake. There's a group of old dears,friends I mean, who, like me,love baking cakes. Gives us a chance to try out new recipes! That's our excuse anyway!

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    1. I think the taking of tea and cake is a profoundly civilised habit in a mad world. There's a new, upmarket tea room that's just opened very near me so that's obviously my next tea and cake sorted as soon as I've saved up enough pocket money.

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  4. wow so yummy i try this thanks for sharing i need this
    Health write for us

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