Olive oil cake with date syrup

19 March, 2017






Salted white chocolate ice-cream

175 g caster sugar
500 g white chocolate buttons
8 egg yolks
1 litre thickened cream
2 tsp sea salt


2 tbsp lemon juice
80 ml (⅓ cup) orange juice
50 g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
8-10 cardamom pods
2 star anise
6 fresh dates, seeds removed


40 g panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
175 g caster sugar
1 tsp ras el hanout
1 tsp baking powder
200 ml olive oil
3 eggs
1 lemon, zest grated
1 orange, zest grated

Cook’s notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Freezing time 3 hours

To make the ice-cream, place the sugar and 250 ml (1 cup) water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, then add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.  Lightly beat the egg yolks and add to cooled chocolate.

Whisk the cream until soft peaks form, then gradually fold in the chocolate mixture. Season to taste with salt, then pour into a container and freeze for 2-3 hours or until firm. Allow to soften slightly before serving.

Meanwhile, to make the syrup, place the juices, sugar and spices in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the dates, simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stand until cool.

To make the cake, using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the breadcrumbs, sugar, ras el hanout and baking powder on low speed. With the motor running, gradually add the olive oil, then the eggs and zest. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased and lined 11 cm x 21 cm loaf tin.Place the cake in a cold oven and turn on the heat to 160°C.Bake for 45 minutes, then increase the heat to 170°C and cook for another 10 minutes or until the top is crisp and a skewer withdraws clean. Remove from the oven, then pierce the cake all over with a skewer. Pour over the cooled date syrup and stand until cooled. Slice and serve with the dates and salted white chocolate ice-cream.

For more tastes and flavours from the Middle East explore the spices available on our SHOP

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