Thursday, 29 April 2021

Honey, apple and olive oil cake for my 14th blog anniversary

I almost didn't bake this cake!  But I have a tradition of baking a cake each blog anniversary.  Fourteen years is a long time in blogging.  Over this time, there has been a lot of change both in the blogosphere and my life.  I started the blog with a birthday cake for my husband and the proceeded to post with incredible energy.  These days blogs are far less rough and ready and I have far less energy for blogging.  I still bake for E's birthday but my daughter takes it to his house now that we are separated.  This year the practicalities meant I just made some biscuits but I wanted a cake for the anniversary.

By the time I decided to bake this cake, it was Sunday morning.  Usually this would be a good morning to duck out to the shops for any ingredients I didn't have.  But it was ANZAC DAY when shops and businesses in Australia close until 1pm.  I had cut up a big saucepan of apples for stewing earlier while watching Insiders on tv.  So with no Greek yoghurt in the house, I used the stewed apples.  And I have lots of limes but no lemons on our trees.  So guess which tree I went to when I realised I had used my last lemon in the stewed apples!  Most of the preparation for baking the cake was spent picking and rubbing thyme leaves off the woody stalks that I picked from the garden.

I had chosen a rather plain cake - yoghurt and honey olive oil cake.  I added some vinegar as well to give a little of the yoghurty sourness.  What made this cake a bit more of a celebration cake was the addition of a dollop of yoghurt with a magnificent berry sauce full of berries that I had squirreled away in the freezer over summer.  The cake was lovely and moist by itself though I found the 1 tablespoon of thyme a little intense and would add less next time.  I went for a swim after it came out of the oven and when I rode home in the rain, it was a cosy return into the warm house smelling of baking and honey.

The cake was really special served with the yoghurt and berry sauce.  Sylvia also enjoyed it.  I made it before an odd week that has started with her at school camp and ends with me in Sydney for a work meeting (hence this post being scheduled in advance).  So some of the cake is in the freezer. 

I usually reflect on blogging in my blogiversary blog post but life is just so odd and busy that it is hard to focus on blogging.  I still have a lot of blogging I want to do, though far less energy.  Perhaps I coudl say that although I have not been that social with this cake, I have probably had one of the most social weeks this week since the pandemic hit early last year.  I had lunch with a friend at work yesterday.  Then after work I went to the cinema to see The Father, followed by a lovely dinner at the Green Man's Arms with a uni friend.  Today I caught up with friends this morning and again this afternoon.  Ahead is a farewell lunch for a work colleague, a work dinner in Sydney and catching up with some familiar faces from work that I haven't seen for some time.  

It will be odd to go on a plane again after a couple of years.  My first time on a plane wearing a face mask for the duration of the journey.  I hope that there is no snap lockdown when I get to Sydney.  Some of my colleagues will not travel because their health is too fragile or they can't risk being locked down. That is our Covid-normal life in Australia.  Almost there but not quite!

For all the strangeness of life, I can't complain too much.  This year so far (touchwood) is better than last year.  I am still busy but I have more hope and it is far better to be struggling with a vaccine rollout than a covid outbreak.  I do not have lots of energy and time to try new recipes and photograph them and blog.  This is partly because my blog has armed me with a fantastic repertoire of favourite recipes.  I am sadder I have less time for comments, which has always been such a delight of blogging.  I would like to write more but I need to do the dishes and pack and try to get some sleep before some busy days ahead.  Let's just finish the post feeling happy I still can occasionally summon the energy to bake a cake for a bit of comfort and celebration!  And I will be bake soon with more blogging!

More cakes made with olive oil on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chocolate olive oil cake
Chocolate olive oil cake (gf, v)
Citrus grape cake
Kitchen sink tropical fruit loaves
Lemon and honey cake
Venetian carrot cake

Honey, apple and olive oil cake
Adapted from The Kitchn

1 cup stewed apples, chopped small (or plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup honey

1 to 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Finely grated zest
 of 1 lime (or small lemon)
3 eggs

1 1/2 cups plain white flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Berry sauce (below) and yoghurt, to serve

Preheat oven to 170 C.  Grease and line a 22cm round springform tin.

Lightly whisk apples (or yoghurt), vinegar, olive oil, honey, thyme and lime.  Whisk in eggs.  Fold in dry ingredients.  Don't worry if it is slightly lumpy.

Pour into prepared tin.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and the cake is pulling away from the sides.  Cool in tin for 10 minutes and turn out onto plate to eat warm or wire rack to cool before eating.

Berry sauce
Makes about 1 cup

150-200g mixed berries (I used blueberries, raspeberries, blackberries and strawberries)
juice of 1 lime (or 1/2 lemon)
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cornflour (corn starch)

Cook berries, lime and maple syrup gently in a small saucepan until boiling.  Mix a couple of spoonfuls of juice from berry mixture with the cornstarch.  Pour into berry mixture and bring to the boil.  It should thicken slightly.

On the Stereo:
Begin to Hope: Regina Specktor


  1. Happy blogiversary, Johanna! I can understand that the role of blogging has changed in your life; I feel the same way.

    Did you enjoy The Father? We saw it on a whim a couple of weekends ago and I was so impressed by it.

  2. Happy blogaversary Johanna! My, how time flies and how our lives change, but I'm so glad you're still blogging, even if it's not as much. I might not pop over to your blog as often as I really should, but I do read your email updates. This is a gorgeous cake recipe too! Good luck with your travel plans - we haven't left Shetland since March last year, and it will be weird to once we do. First trip - Orkney in August, I think, for a cycling event!

  3. Indeed, fourteen years is a long time in blogging - my friend. I am pleased you started and i am pleased that you are still here. Congratulations and Happy Blogiversary Johanna. Your Honey, Apple and Olive Oil cake looks marvellous too, i wish i could have a celebratory slice.

    Completely understand not having energy to cook creatively, blog and comment, but appreciate it when you do. x


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