The Simple Things

Lemon olive oil cake


Made with oil rather than butter, this citrussy cake is light as a feather, bringing to mind warm summer evenings. Enjoy with a digestif for a fine end to a meal


2 large lemons 125g plain flour, sifted 5 egg yolks and 4 egg whites 220g caster sugar 180ml olive oil 1/2 tsp salt


250g icing sugar, sifted 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice Grated zest of 1 lemon

you will need

23cm round loose-bottom or springform cake tin, greased and lined with baking parchment

1 Preheat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F. Finely grate the zest from both lemons and mix together with the flour. Halve one of the lemons and squeeze the juice into a small bowl.

2 Place the egg yolks and 150g of the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk and large mixing bowl) and beat on high speed until thick and pale, about 3 mins.

3 Reduce the speed to medium and add the olive oil and 2 tbsp of the lemon juice, beating until just combined (the mixture may appear separated). Use a spatula to stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

4 Place the egg whites and salt into another large, grease-free mixing bowl. Make sure the whisk is completely clean, then whisk on medium-high speed using a hand-held electric whisk until foamy. Add the remaining 70g sugar gradually, whisking continuous­ly until the egg whites form soft peaks, about 3 mins. Gently fold one-third of the whites into the cake mixture, before folding in the remaining whites thoroughly.

5 Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and gently tap against the work surface to release any air bubbles. Bake in the preheated oven for 40–50 mins or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

6 Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, transfer to a serving plate.

7 To decorate, place the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in the lemon juice using a hand whisk or fork until it’s a pouring consistenc­y similar to double cream. Gently pour over the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Sprinkle with grated lemon zest and serve. Recipe from Lola’s: A Cake Journey Around

the World by Lola’s Bakers and Julia Head (Ryland Peters & Small). Photograph­y: Steve Painter

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