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
1⁄4 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).
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