Request a Brochure
Request a Brochure
~Scroll for Recipe~
2019 is a year that saw my obsession with growing herbs begin in earnest.
I've always loved cooking and experimenting with flavours, and there is really nothing that can rival fresh herbs for the ratio of flavour to effort. Growing my own herbs was the next logical step. Rosemary is one of my favourite herbs - unlike the lovely Sara - and I would like to share this recipe with her and other Rosemary sceptics to show that it's a delicous and versatile herb.
Rosemary oil is popular in aromatherapy and apart from its many healing properties, smells beautiful. Its not so abrasive as teatree or as overpowering as lavender; its woody scent is fresher and sweeter. Because rosemary is an oily herb, it also makes it the perfect accompaniment to a dairy-free cake.
I have friends who are allergic to dairy, lactose-intolerant, celiac or wheat-intolerant. To add insult to injury, many of the standard replacements are off limits too, thanks to other allergies: coconut, soya and almond all are off the table. So that's why organic oils are my ideal dairy replacement for cake.
This time last year, when I invented this recipe, I was candying fruit on an industrial scale for Christmas presents. Tins filled with candied orange and pink grapefruit were despatched to family relations up and down the country. A secondary product of this process was copious amounts of orange syrup. Hours of boiling oranges in kilos of sugar and I had all this syrup and nothing to use it for.
That's when inspiration struck: Rosemary and Orange Olive Oil Cake.
Gluten-Free Olive Oil Cake is not uncommon in restaurants and allergy-conscious cafes. I find them to be an excellent compromise in recipes devoid of gluten and dairy, because oil brings much needed moisture to the mixture, and carries flavour very well too.
This recipe takes a basic olive oil cake and a drizzle cake, and a few adjustments of my own...
350g Gluten-Free Flour
(or your preferred replacement)
300g Light Brown Sugar
(or caster sugar will work fine too)
320ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 dessert spoon Fresh Rosemary - very finely chopped
200ml Lukewarm water
Juice and Zest of 1 Orange
2tsp Baking powder
To make your own Orange Syrup:
Make the Orange Syrup:
If you're opting to make your own orange syrup, this should be done first as it will take a while. If you're buying ready-made syrup, scroll for the cake recipe.
- Roll your oranges firmly against the work surface to loosen the juices inside, then slice and place in a saucepan filled with just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 mins - this first stage cleans the skins of any chemicals and begins to soften the skin.
- Drain the oranges and set aside. Refill the sauceapan with roughly the same amount of water and add equal mounts of caster sugar (1 cup water:1 cup sugar). Bring to the boil, while stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Reduce heat to low simmer and return the oranges to the pan, taking care to submerge them completely - add a little more water+sugar if needed. Leave to simmer for a minimum of 40 mins. Once time is up, remove the orange slices and what remains is delicious syrup, infused with fresh oranges.
Top Tip: Dry out the orange slices and coat in sugar for a festive treat, or use as cake decoration.
Make the Cake:
- Preaheat oven to 180C.
- Beat together sugar and eggs together until pale and fluffy. You can use caster sugar if you wish, but I prefer to use brown sugar in GF recipes, because it aids texture and has a richer flavour that complements this cake.
- Gently stir in the olive oil, orange juice and water. If you have homemade syrup, you can add replace 50ml water with syrup.
- In a separate bowl, fold together baking powder, flour, orange zest and finely chopped rosemary.
- Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture, fold until smooth and well combined. You don't want any pockets of dry flour.
- Transfer to a lined and oiled baking tin. Bake in the oven until cooked through - remember this is a dense, moist mixture, and it will take a while to cook. Low and slow is the game here - 180C for 45-70mins.
Top Tip: Take care not to mistake an oily skewer for being underbaked, or you might overbake it instead!
- While the cake is baking, prepare your orange syrup mixture. If you've been making your own, it should have had enough time to simmer while the cake was baking. If you've bought syrup, then try a little to test it's strength. If very strong, then use sparingly and consider combining with a little water or freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice.
- Once the cake is baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
- Once cool, pour over your orange syrup. I like a very moist, orangey cake, so I tend to drench it, but it's up to you if you'd prefer to hold back.