It is officially the much anticipated strawberry season in the Eastern Mediterranean and I can barely contain my excitement for all the recipes that I have in mind. That is the beauty of eating fruits in season. Not only are they naturally more delicious and flavorful, but they are also appreciated more. My strawberry and olive oil cake reflects this newfound appreciation for seasonal fruits. Rich, moist, and fragrant, this tea cake makes the perfect partner for those uneventful chilly winter afternoons that crave adventure. Farm fresh strawberries, extra-virgin olive oil, Greek yogurt, and aromatic orange zest provide for a pleasant burst of Mediterranean flavors.
INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 10
2 1/4 cups (290 g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups (300 g) plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2/3 cups (160 g ) whole Greek yogurt or plain yogurt
3 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk
10 fresh strawberries, cut in halves
1 tablespoon flaked almonds
- Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F and line a 25 cm springform baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar, olive oil, salt, vanilla, orange zest, and yogurt. Mix until well combined. Add your eggs into the bowl, mixing well after each addition. Mix at a high speed for an additional minute until the batter is light and fluffy.
- With a baking paddle or wooden spoon, stir in the flour in 3 batches. Stir just until the cake batter is smooth.
- Pour the batter into your baking pan and top with 10-15 strawberry halves, however many you prefer. Scatter 1 tablespoon of sugar over the top of the batter, focusing on the strawberries. This will form a crispy and sweet crust over the cake. Lastly, top the cake mix with almond flakes.
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Top with powdered sugar and drizzled dulce de leche or sweetened condensed milk for an extra treat.
1. If using a fan oven, lower the temperature to 165 C (325 F).