When I was a young girl, my Mum taught me to make a chocolate cake. It was a classic chocolate cake, with a basic cocoa/icing sugar frosting. It was simple, yes, but it was also relentlessly satisfying. Rich and fluffy, and only occasionally tasting of baking powder (I was prone to capricious heavy handedness with ingredients), I learnt to make that cake all by myself. And once I got the hang of it, it was the only thing I would make. It was my thing. For special occasions I would decorate with jelly snakes or smarties. Fancy. I adored that cake.
These days, now that I’m all grown up and have learnt to moderate my baking powder employment, I try to branch out a little. As comforting as old favourites can be, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of discovering a new recipe. New processes, new smells and textures. New tastes. It’s exciting. It encourages growth.
During the week, my Mum and I send emails back and forth, sharing our new discoveries. It’s what we do. A few weeks ago, Mum emailed a link to a recipe that was particularly enticing…an Almond Olive Oil Cake (recipe link). This recipe stuck with me for days, so much so that I scrapped my original cake plans for Mother’s Day and replaced it with this novel number. New tastes.
I’m glad I did.
As delightfully snug and nostalgic a classic chocolate cake can be, this Almond Olive Oil Cake went down a real treat. I was undoubtedly inspired, and completely fascinated by this new taste.
The olive oil flavour was affectionately prominent, the cake body intoxicatingly light, and the glaze just lovely – no jelly snakes or smarties required. The only change I would make to this recipe would be to use a touch less salt.
Sans glaze, this would make an excellent breakfast cake. Maybe with a touch of jam and a side of natural yoghurt. That’s new, isn’t it? Kind of. Let’s compromise here…a slice of familiar in a new way. I like that.