There are so many bees around at the moment busy collecting pollen. They reminded me of a visit I made to a local honey producer about a month ago that I haven’t blogged about yet. I have been waiting for the perfect honey recipe to come along which is deserving enough to feature the delicious honey that I bought, and this is definitely THE one. More about that later, first the visit then the recipe…
You had to drive through a river to get there but I doubt all that water is still there now with all the hot weather we have been having. It looks worse than it is….
Miel is “honey” in Spanish and Fuente del Sol means “Fountain (or Source) of Sun”.
There is a slightly unattractive warehouse and a very well hidden little shop with a small sign outside….
Inside the shop they sell lots of different types of honey. There’s orange blossom, rosemary, thyme, eucalyptus and wild flower honey and they sell it in the squeezy non-drip bottles as well as glass jars. They also sell pollen and royal jelly products as well as a range of natural soaps and cosmetics made using aloe vera and olive oil.
I bought some thyme honey which is really lovely. I have been having it on toast for breakfast with my local goat’s ricotta (requeson) it’s so good. If you’ve never tried ricotta and honey on toast you should, and so much better when they are both local. You could even make your own ricotta, it is really easy unless you’re my dad, but that’s another story…..He had a bit of a drama making my spinach & ricotta gnocchi!
I’ve been trying recently to use olive oil instead of butter whenever possible in my cooking. The delicious extra virgin olive oil in the picture above we helped to harvest back in November and I’ve used it to make some banana & coconut muffins that tasted great. We store it in empty wine bottles because plastic bottles are not good – for your health or the health of the oil. I’ve seen quite a few Italian recipes for olive oil cakes and wanted to give it a try. I was thinking local olive oil and local honey it’s got to be good. I wasn’t wrong….
Honey, Apple, Date & Walnut Olive Oil Cake
makes 16 squares, vegetarian
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 130 gr brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 165 ml good olive oil
- 260 gr runny honey (coat the measure with a little olive oil so the honey slips out easily)
- 375 gr wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 – 2 apples, peeled,cored and roughly diced. I used 1 1/2 large fuji apples you need something crisp.
- 100 gr walnuts, roughly chopped
- 100 gr dates, stoned and roughly chopped, plus a few extra for garnish
- a small tub of mascarpone/creme fraiche
- extra honey
Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a 9×13 inch cake/roasting tin with baking paper, base & sides. Beat the eggs, brown sugar & vanilla (if using)in a large bowl with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes until light & fluffy. Slowly add in the honey and oil bit by bit, beating until well blended.
Into another bowl sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt then tip in the whole-wheat bits left in the sieve as well. Stir to combine. Add the flour mixture, apples, walnuts and dates to the wet ingredients and fold together gently until just blended (Don’t overmix you will get a tough cake).
Pour the mixture in to the lined baking tin and spread out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until the top is firm and golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin.
Cut into 16 squares and serve with coffee and a pot of mascarpone drizzled with more honey and some more dates or walnuts for the top.
Spoon some of the honey mascarpone on top of your piece of cake and top with a date half. It was all looking quite healthy up until then wasn’t it. Oh well it’s only a suggestion…..
This cake is so moist and delicious with the apples, honey and olive oil, you need to make it and then invite people round for an afternoon tea or coffee. Otherwise you might just have to eat it all. It keeps really well too, if it should last that long…..Enjoy!