Do you ever feel like some things aren’t enough? Like you’ve set yourself up with all these beautiful surroundings, components, and it just won’t turn out well? Does it make you nervous? Let’s be real: this happens sometimes. At any given time, we have a bunch of things going on, different things, varying things, all-different-direction type things, new things, things we’ve never tried before. All of this stuff makes up our world. Our daily life. What we live in. Sometimes and inevitably, we think it might not turn out well.
But it does. It always does. We just need to give things a chance, embrace the new, embrace change, embrace life. This week I was met with spelt flour. Huh? Well, to me it was a dream come true because it’s a whole grain flour that has fiber and nutritional content. And for a baker obsessed with fiber, this was love at first sight. A perfect combination. But I worried about how it would taste. How it would handle olive oil…something I had been itching to include in a cake? And rosemary? And chocolate? And only a teensy tiny bit of sugar?
Oh man. To say that it worked out is an understatement. I l-o-v-e, adore this cake. For someone who is obsessed with bold, unctuously sweet flavors to say that about a subtle and aromatic flavors says something huge. The spelt flour is sturdier than all-purpose, imparting a heartier crumb while still maintaining a smooth taste. You can taste the whole grain but it’s not overpowering. The cake is so infused with olive oil flavor, and rosemary, and the chocolate, that it makes me feel like I should be living in Italy when I eat it. It’s so moist, so wonderful, that I’m unsure as to whether I ever want anything sweeter.
It worked out fine. Even better than fine. Amazing. And with just a little tweaking, leaps of faiths, and chances, every aspect of life always does.
Olive oil cake with rosemary & bittersweet chocolate
Adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce
Note: since the cake is so moist and delicate, Boyce calls for it to be baked in a tart pan with a removable bottom so you won’t have to scramble to remove it from a cake pan. I suggest doing the same. If you dont have one, you can bake it in a cake pan but then you’ll have to eat it out of there. Which is fine, I guarantee it won’t last that long anyways.
Spelt flour is available at Whole Foods and other specialty markets. If you can’t find it, just substitute all-purpose.
I wouldn’t worry about the quality of the olive oil here. I used Trader Joe’s.
Also, if you omit the chocolate, this would be wonderful with pasta.
3/4 cup spelt flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup whole milk (I used buttermilk)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped, about 1/2-inch pieces
Set your oven at 350 degrees F. Rub a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with olive oil
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter, and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the olive oil, milk, and rosemary and whisk again. Using a spatula, fold the west ingredients into the dry ingredients, gently mixing until just combined. Stir in the chocolate. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top of domed, golden brown, and darker around the edges, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake can be eaten warm or cool from the pan, or cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and kept for 2 days.
We cannot make sustainable change with food, our bodies, or our surrounding habits until we honestly explore and get curious about our relationship with each of them. Mindset change is not easy, but so, so worth it.
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