Olive oil. Polenta. Greek yoghurt. Fruits of the Mediterranean.
No butter. No machine-powered mixing.
This cake is tall, dense, and almost too easy.
All of which makes it perfect for breakfast.
Recipe adapted from Strawberryplum’s Raspberry & Plum Yoghurt Olive Oil Cake.
2 tbsp caster sugar
Half a lemon
1/2 cup polenta or cornmeal
1 + 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup plain unsweetened nonfat Greek yoghurt**
1/2 cup light-flavoured olive oil (or vegetable/peanut/canola oil)
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 fresh figs (1.5 if they’re quite large)
Approx. 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- About an hour ahead of time, cut the apricots into quarters, and leave them to soak in a bowl with 2 tbsp of sugar, and the juice from half a lemon.
- When you’re ready to make the cake batter, preheat the oven to 175° C. Grease a regular-size springform tin with oil, and line the bottom with baking paper. Set the tin aside.
- Take one large bowl for the dry ingredients: add the polenta, then sift in the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom.
- Take another large bowl for the wet ingredients: add the oil, yoghurt, eggs and sugar (not wet, but whatever), and mix swiftly with a fork until just combined (i.e. roughly 15 seconds).
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, plus about 2.5 tbsp of the syrup from the macerated apricots, and mix it all together with a wooden spoon until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin, flatten out the top with a spatula.
- Cut the figs into quarters, discarding the stem tips, and arrange the quarters — flesh side up — like a star in the centre of the cake.
- Press the apricot quarters — skin side up — into the spaces around the figs.
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with demerara sugar, paying special attention to the areas of ‘naked’ batter and the fig flesh.
- Bake for around 50 minutes, or until a bamboo skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes, then remove the sides of the tin.
- Eat at room temperature, with more unsweetened Greek yoghurt, and a drizzle of honey. Breakfast is served!
*The apricots can be quite firm/unripe. It’s hard to get good ones these days, but macerating then baking them will bring out the flavour and soften the texture.
**Or sweetened, full-fat yoghurt, if that’s your thing. I used nonfat unsweetened Greek Chobani — the dry-ish, firm consistency really works for baking.