These past weeks, in which I have been experimenting with my baking and adding more vegetables to my cooking, have been a lot of fun: once you start trying new things (with both good and bad results because well, that’s life) it’s like a blindfold being lifted from the eyes, I guess – you just want to discover more and more.
It is such a joy to open the fridge and know that you are moments away from a delicious and nutritious meal. It is a great feeling to watch a courgette and some cheese get transformed into fritters (that tasted really good with a few drops of Tabasco), or to make a flavorsome sauce with eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and ricotta while a pot of pasta boils away. I used to cringe at the thought of whole wheat pasta, but after buying Di Cecco’s linguine and cooking it twice with different sauces I’ve come to the conclusion that my past bad experiences with the ingredient were caused either by poor quality pasta or poor recipes.
Being out of the comfort zone is a good thing.
As my butter supply was running low and I needed the 100g left to make cookies (more on that soon), I decided to bake the cake I had in mind with olive and canola oil, and the result was a tender and delicious cake – no icing, no frills, just simple, good cake to be eaten with freshly brewed coffee (I had my slice with a glass of wine because watching Brazil’s ridiculous soccer team embarrass themselves twice in a row requires alcohol).
Coconut olive oil cake
slightly adapted from the delicious Under the Walnut Tree: 400 Recipes Inspired by Seasonal Ingredients
4 medium eggs*
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lime
1 cup (100g) unsweetened desiccated coconut
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
50ml canola oil
120g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly oil a 20cm (8in) round cake pan, line the bottom with baking paper and oil the paper as well. Dust everything with flour and remove the excess.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick and pale. Stir in the lime zest, juice, desiccated coconut, canola oil and olive oil. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until risen, golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool completely in the pan. Unmold, carefully peel off the paper and place onto a serving plate.
* I had only large eggs at home, so I chose the smallest four to use in the cake