Olive oil cake

Serves 6-8
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Olive oil, instead of butter, is used for baking in countries where there's plenty of it. It makes the cakes dense and rich and faintly fruity. I'd been experimenting with recipes for a cake made with olive oil and just couldn't get it right, when photographer Jason Lowe came to the rescue with this recipe. He has a home in Tuscany and can get hold of a very fruity olive oil produced nearby. I made this cake with my daughters Ellie and Lydia and it went down a treat with some raspberries and a good dollop of whipped cream. Well, it's one way of getting them to appreciate olives, I suppose ...

Olive oil, instead of butter, is used for baking in countries where there's plenty of it. It makes the cakes dense and rich and faintly fruity. I'd been experimenting with recipes for a cake made with olive oil and just couldn't get it right, when photographer Jason Lowe came to the rescue with this recipe. He has a home in Tuscany and can get hold of a very fruity olive oil produced nearby. I made this cake with my daughters Ellie and Lydia and it went down a treat with some raspberries and a good dollop of whipped cream. Well, it's one way of getting them to appreciate olives, I suppose ...

300g caster sugar
3 eggs
300g plain white flour sifted with 1tbsp baking powder
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
120ml extra-virgin olive oil
100ml milk

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 5. Whisk the sugar and eggs together until light and fluffy - in a food mixer if you prefer. Add the juice and zest of the orange and the lemon zest and then stir in the olive oil and milk. Gently fold in the flour and transfer to a lightly greased (you can use olive oil if you wish) round tin about 20-24 cms in diameter (you can use a square or a loaf tin of similar size).

Bake for 40-45 minutes. You can test by inserting a skewer or something similar and it should come out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin then turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool. Eat for tea or as a dessert with mascarpone, whipped cream, crème fraîche or ice cream, and raspberries.

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