The first thing that comes to mind when mentioning extra virgin olive oil is food and cooking. Since I grew up with it on daily basis (butter is used only with bread), my growth as a pastry chef was highly influenced with it. As fats in any form are one of the main ingredients in baking, I decided to get back to basics and use something I am most familiar with.
Croatian coastline is known to have many olive groves including my family’s. Each year all of us gather on the island of Korčula where we spend 3 labor intensive, but fun work days! It is very special for me to cherish something my ancestors have left and utilise it in my profession. I still remember the first time I came across an olive oil recipe in a baked good. It was something like a marble loaf cake which Alice Medrich creatively named Tiger cake in her “Seriously Bitter Sweet” cookbook. The unusual combination of olive oil, white pepper and chocolate triggered my curiosity - I decided to give it a try!
At that time I was still in high school and my passion for baking was just coming to light, so I wanted to try EVERYTHING. All of my family members, neighbours and friends were obligated to taste my sweet treats each day, both successes and fails. Tiger cake was one of my greatest accomplishments and it is still made in my family 8 years later.
My advice is to use a milder variety of extra virgin olive oil because it dominates the cake as the main ingredient. If the oil is too spicy and pungent it might overpower other components.
Here’s the recipe for the most dense, flavourful marble cake!
adapted from Alice Medrich’s “Serioslu Bitter Sweet”