Torta extra vergine

Photographer: Emma

Like me, my Mum has an old exercise book in which she writes, in her beautiful calligraphic script, the recipes she finds which are too good to pass by.  It has a brightly striped cover and ruled pages which are covered in black ink and spatterings of olive oil and cake batter which, like little stained glass windows, reveal recipes one word at a time.

This particular recipe is from Mum’s special book.  It is a deliciously moist cake with a sharpness to it which is beautifully balanced by a good measure of extra virgin olive oil.  Something I have learned after having made this cake a few times is that if you combine a bit of the olive oil to the pureed skins to loosen them a bit it allows you to fold them in to the cake batter more easily.


2 lemons
2 tangelos
4 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 cup flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup toasted almonds, chopped fine


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease a 22cm loose bottomed cake tin.
2. Place the tangelos and lemons whole into a saucepan and simmer until tender. Drain, cool and scoop out the flesh and discard. Puree the skins and set aside.
3. Beat together the eggs and the sugar until fluffy and pale.
4. Add the flour mixture to the eggs, alternating with the oil.
5. Finally fold in the almonds and pureed citrus skin and pour into the greased cake tin. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewerinserted into the cake comes out clean.
6. Once cool sprinkle cake with icing sugar.