This is a wild and wonderful cake that I came up with, inspired by the Dutch cardamom cake. I love the idea of sweet and savoury, but actually all of the ingredients in this cake work sweetly together. The fruitiness of the extra virgin olive oil always gives a luxurious silkiness to the cake, and the zucchini retains moisture to make this a fail-safe, never-dry situation. You will get a crunchy texture from the cardamom seeds throughout, while it’s sweet fragrance gently perfumes, and compliments it’s dreamy partner rosemary. Finally, like most of my sweets, I added sea salt to balance the sweetness and also to give it a little more sophistication on the palate.
Give this moorish cake a try, it’s super easy to knock up, and you’ll be finding excuses to have it for breakfast, tea, and dessert.
Zucchini, cardamom, olive oil, & sea salt cake
You will need:
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups organic plain flour
1 cup raw caster sugar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 fresh free range eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or essence
1 small handful of cardamom pods
1 sprig of rosemary
sour cream to serve
Remove the seeds of your cardamom pods by crushing with a heavy object. Grind the seeds in a mortar and pestle until the consistency of cracked pepper.
Preheat your oven to 180C. In a stand mixer, crack your three eggs in and beat until pale and frothy. Gradually add your sugar and alternate with the olive oil until all used up. Add vanilla, a pinch of salt, and baking soda, scraping the sides with a rubber spatula. Add your flour, spoonful by spoonful until all combined, scraping the sides from time to time. Finally, add the zucchini and cardamom before transferring into a square (8 x 8 in) or round (8 x 2 in) baking tin that has been buttered and lined with baking paper. Make a shallow well in the middle so that the cake rises evenly. Sprinkle a handful of fresh rosemary over the top, and another pinch of sea salt, then garnish with a small sprig of rosemary in the middle.
Bake for 45 mins.
To test if baked properly, stick a skewer into the centre of the cake. If cooked, it should come out clean. Cool in the pan for 5mins before removing and cooling further on a wire rack.
Serve with a dollop of fresh sour cream.