Olive Oil Cake with Poached Cherries

olive-oil-cakeOlive oil cake

190g sugar, divided
2 egg yolks
1 lemon juice and zest
3 vanilla bean seeds
115g cake flour (bleached)
160g extra virgin olive oil
105g egg whites
Pinch kosher salt

Poached cherries

250g frozen sour cherries
100g caster sugar
2tbsp Kirsch
1 vanilla pod (use the empty pods leftover from the cake)

Toasted pistachios or almonds (optional)
Vanilla ice cream to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 165C and coat a 9-inch (23cm) spring form pan with butter/marg, dust with flour and tap pan on counter to remove the excess flour (you can also use a loaf tin if you prefer).

2. Combine 110g of sugar, the egg yolk, lemon juice, vanilla bean seeds and lemon zest in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Mix on a medium speed until incorporated.

3. Sift the flour and gradually add while mixing on a medium speed.

4. In a slow stream, pour in the olive oil. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

5. Clean and dry the stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Add the egg whites and a pinch of salt to the bowl of your mixer. Mix on high speed until eggs form a light foam. Gradually add 55g of sugar. Mix until stiff peaks form (you can tell stiff peaks have formed when the peaks of the foam don’t fall when you remove the whisk and hold it upright).

6. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter a third at a time.

7. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. The cake should have formed a crust but still feel springy. Insert a wooden skewer and if it comes out dry your cake is ready.

8. Whilst waiting for the cake to bake prepare your poached cherries. Add the cherries including the cherry liquor to a small saucepan with the sugar and vanilla pod and slowly poach on a low heat. They can be poached for 20-30 minutes, depending on how soft you prefer your fruit. Once ready add the Kirsch and let it cool at room temperature.

9. Once your cake is baked, allow it to cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes then remove it from the tin.

10. Mix the remaining 25g of sugar and a pinch of salt and lightly dust the cake with it.

Finally its time to tuck in! Plate up your cake with the poached cherries and a scoop of ice cream sprinkled with the crunchy nuts.