CAKE IN THE HOUSE

The Simple Things - - LIVING -

If you’re not keen on an over­sweet cake, this one’s for you. The Mediter­ranean mix of olive oil, rose­mary and lemon is sen­sa­tional

OLIVE OIL, ROSE­MARY & APRI­COT CAKE

5 eggs, sep­a­rated 165g caster su­gar, plus 1 tbsp to sprin­kle ¼ tsp salt 185ml olive oil Juice & finely grated zest of 1 lemon 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rose­mary 150g plain flour, sifted 10 apri­cots, halved & stones re­moved (or tinned apri­cot halves, drained) to serve ( op­tional) 300ml soured cream or crème fraîche 30g ic­ing su­gar, sifted 1 tsp vanilla ex­tract/essence or vanilla bean paste

1 Pre­heat oven to 170C/Fan 150C/Gas 3. Grease the ring of a 20–22cm spring­form tin, then turn the base up­side down, so it no longer has a lip. Place a piece of bak­ing pa­per over it, then clamp the ring around it to se­cure.

2 In a medium mix­ing bowl, whisk the egg whites with an elec­tric mixer on medium speed un­til just foamy. Add 55g of the caster su­gar in two batches, whisk­ing well be­tween each ad­di­tion, un­til soft peaks form. Set aside.

3 Com­bine the egg yolks, re­main­ing (110g) caster su­gar and salt in a medium mix­ing bowl, and whisk with an elec­tric mixer on high speed un­til pale and thick. Grad­u­ally driz­zle in the olive oil, whisk­ing on high speed un­til all of it has been used. Add the lemon juice and zest, rose­mary and flour, and stir with a whisk un­til just com­bined.

4 Whisk in one-third of the egg whites to loosen the mix­ture, then add the re­main­der and stir very gen­tly with the whisk un­til com­bined. Pour the bat­ter into the pre­pared cake tin, and ar­range the apri­cot halves in con­cen­tric cir­cles on top, work­ing from the out­side in.

5 Sprin­kle the ex­tra tbsp of caster su­gar evenly over the sur­face, and bake for about 50 mins, or un­til an skewer in­serted into the cen­tre comes out clean.

6 To make a vanilla cream, if us­ing, com­bine the cream, ic­ing su­gar and vanilla in a medium mix­ing bowl and whisk by hand or with an elec­tric mixer un­til floppy peaks form.

7 Once the cake is cooked, rest it in the tin for 5 mins be­fore re­leas­ing the ring and slid­ing the cake onto a wire rack to cool. Leave to rest for about 30 mins be­fore slic­ing and serv­ing – warm works for this cake – with your choice of dol­lop­ing cream! Recipe from Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow (Mur­doch Books). Pho­tog­ra­phy: Alan Ben­son

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