It’s strawberry and rhubarb season, it’s the time of fresh flavors and delicate tastes, of beautiful colors and sunny days, it’s the season of going to the market to find inspiration. I love this time of the year for its fruits, veggies and herbs, for its great long days, for its walks in the park and market visits. It’s lovely to let yourself be inspired by all of these – it’s probably how some of the best desserts were born.
What I’m bringing you today however is not a complex or complicated cake – it’s one that relies on simplicity and great flavor, a simple cake in its core, but one that tastes amazing. The olive oil sponge is a great base to absorb flavor and that’s precisely what the strawberries and rhubarb bring – plenty of flavor and delicious juices, a lovely delicate color and a delightful texture.
This Rhubarb Olive Oil Cake is perfect to be served with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Mind you, even a dollop of Greek yogurt would complement it well. Just snuggle up on the sofa, put a movie on and enjoy a slice of cake – now that’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Rhubarb Olive Oil Cake
- 4 eggs + 80g white sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 75 g extra-virgin olive oil
- 140 g all-purpose flour (sifted)
- 1 g salt
- 2 egg whites + 50g white sugar
- 2 rhubarb stalks (peeled and sliced)
- 1 handful fresh strawberries (hulled and halved)
- 2 tablespoons fresh strawberry puree
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 100 g powdered sugar
- Combine the eggs, 80g sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in a bowl and mix until triple in volume and light in color.
- Gradually pour in the olive oil, mixing well.
- Fold in the flour – use a spatula and try not to deflate the batter.
- Place the batter aside. In another bowl, mix the egg whites with a pinch of salt.
- When stiff and fluffy, add the sugar, gradually, and keep mixing until glossy and stiff.
- Fold the meringue into the batter, one spoonful at a time.
- Pour the batter in a 22-24cm diameter pan, lined with baking paper or greased and floured.
- Scatter the rhubarb and strawberries over the batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 350F – 180C for 30-35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
- Allow to cool in the pan then transfer on a platter.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Mix well, adding more sugar if the icing is too thin or more lemon juice if it’s too thick.
- Drizzle the icing over the cake and serve.
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