I was itching for a reason to bake a cake. Since my sister left, cakes and all sweets had been put on hold as a household of two cannot justify projects that serve eight (and let’s just say my restraint, when something sweet lurks on the counter, is next to zero).
When my friend K invited me for lunch and to see her new house, I immediately put myself in charge of dessert. I knew I wanted something lemony or citrusy, to use some of the bounty from my garden. I rummaged through the file of recipes I set aside because they intrigue me and I settled on a Yotam Ottolenghi Bundt cake for a number of reasons.
Maybe not many know that the guru of Middle Eastern vegetarian fare began his culinary career as a pastry chef so I feel a kinship. And like him, I do like to marry ingredients from the savory world with more conventional sweet offerings. For years I baked a citrusy bundt with olive oil, and often served it with strawberry basil sorbet, but I never thought of incorporating rosemary in it.
The original recipe calls for candied rosemary as a decoration, which I skipped because I wasn’t too sure my friend would enjoy the rosemary experiment as much me. Also, after years of using olive oil in cakes, I came to the conclusion that, unless you use a very light and flowery oil, it tends to make the cake heavier, and the taste of olive oil might not be pleasing to every palate. I usually mix olive and a neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola. In this case, I used 1/3 of olive oil and 2/3 canola. I also reduced the amount of chopped rosemary that went in the cake – I thought it wise for a first experiment (if you do want the original recipe you can find it here).
RECIPE – Serves about 10
2 C flour (240 g)
1/4 C olive oil (60 ml)
1/2 C canola oil (100 ml)
1/2 C sugar (120 g)
1 T orange zest, grated
1 ts rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 C sour cream (130 g)
2 ts baking powder
pinch of salt
For the icing
1 1/2 T orange juice
2 ts lemon juice
1 to 1/2 cup powder sugar, sifted
- Grease and flour a 9 inch Bundt cake pan and set the oven to 325F (160C).
- Put oils, sugar, orange zest and rosemary in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time and whisk for a couple of minutes until thick. Add the sour cream and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined. Increase speed and whisk for a minute.
- Scrape the batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 35 to 40 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Invert on a plate.
- Make the icing by whisking all ingredients in a small bowl until thick and smooth. Drizzle icing on top of cake.