Yes - you read that right. Lime, olive oil and greek yoghurt. In a cake.
With blackberries. It's not as weird as it sounds, I promise. Or maybe it is...but that doesn't change the fact that it's delicious, which is really what counts here. When I was in high school we had to go around writing affirmations on pieces of paper stuck to each other's backs so that we could anonymously say nice things to each other. Someone wrote on mine "weird but good" and I feel like this flavour combination is in that same boat. Lime and fresh berries are a match made in heaven and yoghurt is often used in cakes to keep them moist. Olive oil? Well...that's more on the experimental end of the spectrum but just go with me on this one - it won't disappoint.
Good quality extra virgin olive oils should have a strong fruity aroma, sometimes even a peppery note, that actually pairs very well with desserts. The intensity of that peppery bite depends on when in the season the olives were picked, with younger olives having more oomph than their late-harvest counterparts. Olive growers will often use a mixture of early and late season olives to get the balance of flavour just right. In this recipe it's important to have oil with a more fruity taste, so make sure you're familiar with the taste of your olive oil before you go pouring it into your cake and accidentally ending up with some kind of lime-and-blackberry-flavoured savoury monstrosity. The best way to do this is to test a little with a chunk of crusty white bread (ideally served alongside a big platter of cheese and smallgoods) although I suppose dipping your finger into the oil and having a taste would probably work too but why in God's name would anyone pass up the opportunity to eat carbs?
Limes, like all citrus, are a fantastic source of vitamin C which helps with collagen production, gum health and immune system function. Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein and calcium and extra virgin olive oil is a great source of energy and essential fatty acids, important for shiny hair and healthy skin. This cake is also made gluten free by using almond meal in place of flour, so it caters for both coeliac sufferers and people avoiding processed flours. I used low-GI brown rice syrup to sweeten the cake but I think maple syrup would complement the flavours amazingly well. (I would have used maple syrup here if I hadn't used it all up on my pancakes over the weekend. I regret nothing.)
Yes I did dust the cake with icing sugar in the picture - so sue me. There's a teaspoon of sugar spread across the whole cake so I'm hoping we can keep this little addition in perspective but by all means leave it off if you're hardcore sugar-free. This cake has such a beautiful, complex flavour that it's near perfect served just as it is, or better yet fresh from the oven with a dollop of yoghurt and a drizzle of raw honey.
Next time you need a morning tea that's a little outside the square - you know what to do. You may just find yourself encouraging people not to try it just to keep it for yourself...
Olive oil in a cake can be a bit confronting for some people...what other weird food combinations do you like?
Lime, Yoghurt and Olive Oil Cake
3 cups almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup greek yoghurt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (approx 1 lime)
1 tbsp lime zest (approx 2 limes)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 cup brown rice syrup
1 punnet fresh blackberries
1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line a 20cm spring form tin with baking paper.
2) Combine almond meal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
3) Whisk wet ingredients together until well combined. Pour over dry ingredients and gently stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir through blackberries.
4) Pour into lined tin and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. (mine took 75 mins but check from 60)
5) Allow to cool before removing from tin. Serve.
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