You know how the Eskimo’s have many words for snow, well the French have many words for Cake. We all think of Gateaux but that only describes your dinner party dazzler. How do I know this? Well I do like to dabble in a bit of French but one of my favourite podcasts recently had an episode featuring one of America’s most famous bakers talking about her experience baking in Paris. It’s wonderfully evocative and details lots of different words for the different types of ‘cake’. It made me wonder how many words we have in English, we’ve stolen Gateaux, we use loaf, but mainly we suffix or prefix e.g. cupcake, layer cake, sponge cake. Perhaps we need to steal some more words from other languages and expand the language of cake – what do you think?
One of the things that Dorie talks about is that many of the bakers she encountered would not share their recipes with her, they wouldn’t even share them out side of the house. Home baking stayed at home and patisseries were visited for parties and special occasions. This made me feel even more honored to share this with you as it is a true french recipe. It’s taken me a shockingly long time to share it and for that I apologise.
When you are looking for soemthing to take to a party but know there will be loads of sweet stuff this is perfect, wrap it up for a picnic, or serve nice big wedges with soup.
Notes on this Olive Loaf recipe
Laureen recommends using Herbes de Provence, but we are not all as lucky as her to be from such a beautiful part of the world so use your favourite mixed herb blend. Laureen’s recipe is inspired by a recipe on France’s favourite recipe site. I can’t wait to use this next time I want to make a French recipe – what’s Google Translate for 😉
Cheese wise, Laureen recommends “gruyere or emmental. I don’t recommend cheddar as it’s quite salty”
- 150g Flour
- 1 pack (11g) baking powder
- 1tsp dried mixed herbs
- 4 medium eggs, mixed together
- 100ml milk
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 200g ham, chopped
- 75g grated cheese
- 150g pitted olives
- Preheat your oven to 180'c and line a 2lb loaf tin.
- In a large mixing bowl, weigh your flour, baking powder and herbs making a well in the middle
- In a jug mix together the eggs, milk and olive oil
- Pour the wet ingredients into the well in your flour and stir to combine.
- Add the ham, cheese and olives, mixing thoroughly before pouring into your prepared tin.
- Bake 45min (I had to leave mine 55min this morning) put a knife in it and it's ready when the knife comes out dry.
- Allow to cool on a cooling rack
Have you made a savoury loaf like this olive loaf before?
Has anyone ever refused to share a recipe with you?
Read Laureen’s blog over at Peachy Lau