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Tag Archives: lemon cake

Ottolenghi’s Rosemary, Olive Oil and Orange Cake


This is a lovely cake from the wonderful Middle Eastern inspired food impresario Yotam Ottolenghi.

It’s fragrant with rosemary inside the cake, and the orange and lemon icing gives the cake a great citrus tang.

Although there are few steps to the recipe, it’s actually quite easy. You could leave out crystallising the rosemary sprigs to save time, but the sprigs are a nice aromatic touch plus they look great on the cake!

You could bake the cake in an ordinary tin, but if you have a bundt tin, make it in that, so the icing can drip down the centre of the cake.

I made the recipe with unusually, no tweaks of my own, so here is Yotam’s recipe largely unaltered.


10 small rosemary sprigs, no more than 3 cms each in size (see note)
1 egg white, lightly whisked
2 teaspoons caster sugar
About 30 grams unsalted butter, softened, for greasing the tin
240 grams plain flour plus more to flour the tin
160 mls extra-virgin olive oil
120 grams caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from about 1 1/2 oranges)
1 ½ tablespoons/7 grams packed finely chopped rosemary leaves
2 large free-range eggs
130 grams sour cream
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
150 grams sifted icing sugar


At least six hours before you plan to ice the cake, prepare the crystallised rosemary: Brush rosemary on all sides with a little of the egg white and then dip it in the sugar, so the needles are lightly coated on all sides. Set aside on a wire rack to dry. Repeat with remaining rosemary. *Note: You want small, decorative clusters of needles. The simplest way to do this is to pull the smaller, bottom-most clumps off of large sprigs, or trim off the very tops of several sprigs.

Make the cake: Heat oven to 160 degree C. Generously grease a 9 inch/23 cm Bundt tin with half the butter and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Butter again, generously, and then flour it, tapping away the excess.

Put olive oil, superfine sugar, orange zest and chopped rosemary leaves in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until combined, then add eggs, one at a time. Whisk for another minute, until thick, then add sour cream and mix until combined on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the whisk.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the olive oil mixture and mix until combined. Increase speed to high and whisk for 1 minute.

Scrape batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top with a small spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cake is cooked and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. (You may want to trim the cake at this stage, if it rises unevenly, to allow it to sit flat on the plate.)

Prepare the icing: In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. When the cake has cooled, drizzle icing on top, allowing it to drip down the sides of the cake, then top with the crystallized rosemary and serve.

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Roast Rib of Beef with Baby Yorkies and Root Vegetables + Lemon, Yoghurt and White Chocolate Cake

A very rustic repast with old friends on a perfect Sydney autumn night – it was warm enough that we could still eat outdoors. Roast rib of beef with the trimmings, a wonderful lemon cake, and a great cab sav from Stag’s Leap in the Napa Valley.

The Beef
Choosing the meat

The most important thing is to buy good meat. Make sure the beef you buy is a good dark red colour, not bright red, and has a nice marbling of fat. This beautiful piece of meat is pasture fed, free range, the only meat to buy from the ethical and taste point of view.



Heat the oven to 220 degrees C.  Season the joint heavily with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, rubbing it into the fat and flesh.

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed roasting pan and sear the meat quickly on all sides, including the ends, until you get a nice dark brown colour then remove the meat and set aside.
Make a bed of red onions cut in halves or thirds, and place with garlic and some thyme in the bottom of the roasting pan, sitting the meat on top. Roast for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 160 degrees C and continue to cook for 15 minutes per 450 grams for rare or 20 minutes per 450 grams for medium.

An hour from the completion of cooking, scatter some baby carrots and potatoes into the pan, or whatever root vegetables take your fancy, making sure to baste with the pan juices.

When cooking is complete, remove the roast meat from the pan, wrap it in foil and rest it on a plate for a 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the vegetables to a plate and also cover with foil.

To make the gravy, put the roasting pan over a medium heat on the stove top.

Add a tablespoon of beurre manié to the pan (equal quantities of flour and butter combined together to thicken the gravy).

Tip in a half a bottle of good red wine, scraping the crunchy bits off the base of the pan.

Add some chicken stock and the pan juices from the beef, and the juice of an orange or lemon for piquancy.

Cook gently until the gravy has thickened.

Baby Yorkies  – adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe

Extra light olive oil
3 large free-range eggs
115 grams plain flour
285 mls milk
Pinch of salt


When you have taken the beef form the oven to rest, heat the oven to high (about 220 degrees C) while you make your Yorkshire pudding batter.

Beat eggs, flour, milk and a pinch of salt together, either by hand or in a food processor, until light and smooth. Transfer the mixture into a jug. I make this ahead of time  – the mixture actually improves in the fridge.

Pour a small amount of oil into a muffin tin, so you have a thin layer covering the bottom of each muffin well. Pop the tray on to the top shelf in the hot oven for around 10 to 15 minutes, so the oil gets so hot that it smokes.

Carefully take the tray out of the oven and quickly and confidently pour the batter into the hot tin so it nearly fills each well. Return the tray to the top shelf of the oven to cook for around 10 to 12 minutes, or until the Yorkies are puffed up and golden. Whatever you do, don’t open the oven door!

Serve beef, veggies, yorkies and gravy with the bottle of red and a crisp green salad.


Finish the meal with the delightful Lemon, Yoghurt and White Chocolate Cake already featured in a recent post.…and-lemon-cake/


Lemon, Yoghurt and White Chocolate Cake


I found this this lovely cake on the great blog I have tweaked the recipe a little.


1/3 cup melted butter (approximately 75 grams)
1 cup sugar
1 cup full fat yoghurt
2 lemons – zest of both, juice of 1
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
200 grams white chocolate, melted
Additional lemon, cut into thin slices
1/4 cup sugar (to sprinkle on top)


Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Place the melted butter, sugar, yoghurt, zest, juice, eggs and vanilla paste in a food processor. Whiz until well combined.


Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Process until smooth. Pour in the melted white chocolate and mix until combined and velvety.


Pour into a 24cm spring form cake tin lined with baking paper and arrange the lemon slices on the top of the batter. Sprinkle with half of the remaining sugar.


Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cover with foil if it starts to brown too much during the baking time.

Remove from the oven, and sprinkle the remaining sugar – or less to taste – over the cake, particularly over the lemons.

NB I usually bake a little baby cake with the main mixture so that I can “quality test” the product straight out of the oven or at room temperature. I have included a photo of the test cake baked in a friand mould.


Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, vanilla mascarpone or good vanilla bean ice cream.


The cook’s helper!

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