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Olive Cake

by Trish on July 2nd, 2012

I knew some Turkish twins called Mine (pronounced Mina) and Nese (pronounced Nesha) when I was at college. They had long, wavy hair, were very pretty and gave bear hugs. And they often offered their friends some of their mum’s olive cake, which was like an extra bonus to being friends with them, except I got addicted and needed more than was supplied. I asked for the recipe. “We’ll ask our mum” they said. But despite reminders, they never remembered.

I had their family home phone number so I gave their mum a call and introduced myself as a friend of her daughters and a fan of her cooking. She seemed chuffed and was happy to dictate the recipe down the phone. Years on, and I still can’t make it as good as she did. Perhaps she gave me the amended and slightly inferior recipe, intended for people who aren’t family.

Olive cake, as dictated, my additions in italics
Put some flour in a bowl, one of those small bags of flour you can get is the right amount i.e. 500g, and chop one medium onion into it.
Sprinkle on one sachet of easy-bake yeast powder – ‘Allinsons’ is one brand name and supermarkets often have their own brand.
Add one teaspoon each of salt, sugar and dried mint – I use a bit more than that and one cup of chopped black olives.
Mix to a dough with half a cup of olive oil and a cup of warm water – I use half a cup of boiling water and keep adding cold water till it feels a slightly warmer than lukewarm temperature.
Leave in a warm place to rise till it almost doubles. Oven on lowest temperature with door open or in airing cupboard
Bake in a warm oven (she didn’t specify how warm so I put it on 200 degrees C, which is Gas Mark 6) till light brown all over.
To check if done, put a knife in and it should come out clean.
When you take out of oven, cover with a clean dishcloth and let the steam rise through it. Why?!! I occasionally do this if I have a clean dishcloth handy, but the lack of one has never seemed to make a difference.
Put kettle on. Make tea. Put feet up. Drink tea and eat cake.
Which is where I disagree; it’s better eaten the next day or even the day after because it tastes nicer then.

From → Bread, Picnic food, Vegan