March 5, 2008

tv cake

Penguin Group has just published Tree to Table : cooking with Australian olive oil by Patrice Newell, which features a collection of olive oil recipes by twenty Australian chefs and cooks. Patrice is going to be on morning tv tomorrow to publicise her book, and her brave publicist (who is a friend of Georgie's) asked me to make this cake to take with them. The recipe is by Philip Johnson - owner and chef of e'cco bistro in Brisbane.

There were a couple of worrying moments during the preparation but it all came together in the end. Here's the recipe :

Philip Johnson's Lemon & Olive Oil Cake

3 egg yolks
550g caster sugar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups milk
grated rind 2 lemons
juice 3 lemons
300g SR flour
1/2 t bicarb soda
pinch salt
5 egg whites
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease a 26cm springform tin and line with baking paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. (I was a bit worried here. No amount of beating was ever going to turn this much sugar and 3 yolks into anything that could be described as thick and pale. It was just dry and crumbly. I pushed on regardless.)

Whisk in oil, milk, lemon juice and rind, mixing well to combine.

Sift together the dry ingredients. In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold flour mixture into egg yolks and sugar mixture, then fold in beaten egg whites. (Now the mixture looked like scrambled egg. I mixed it for a few seconds with the electric mixture and thank heavens it smoothed out.)

Pour mixture into prepared tin. Bake for 1 1/4 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Dust cake with icing sugar if using, and serve with creme fraiche or whipped cream. It's also great served with fruit - for example, oranges poached in caramel.

Serves 10 - 12

I realised I was not going to be able to taste the result so cunningly made 2 small cupcakes to test.

The cake tastes great, very moist - almost like a steamed pudding in texture, and with a lovely flavour. Now I just have to decide whether to dust the top (top photo - nicely browned but a bit cracked) or the bottom (photo below - not as evenly coloured and a bit damp-ish) with the icing sugar.

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