Jewish Journal


March 19, 2013

Rosemary Almond Cake with Olive Oil and Orange Zest [Recipe]



For years I had a recurring nightmare that I find myself in the Sienese countryside where Chianti grapes display themselves in Bacchanalian rows, inviting an aimless wanderer, me, in to taste a bite of their intoxicating deep purple fruit.

With a bunch of grapes ripped off the vine, emblazoning my hands with their royal juice, I feared the eyes of the landowners who were keeping a vigilant lookout for pesty crows and hungry trespassing Americans. I skulked behind the vineyard leaves, lest they catch me purple-handed.

In the fantasy the sunlight always came in from a 4 o’clock direction, which my therapist claimed, because the rays of light hit the “grapes” from an angle and not from a direct overhead noontime light, that this scenario must represent repressed Freudian urges that I have not yet dealt with and hence I was imagining myself in Italy.

Trapped time and time again in this nostalgic fantasy of perfect Renaissance landscape, crisp autumn colors, a late afternoon breeze carrying lavender and rosemary scents on its wings, and a bunch of freshly picked Chianti grapes in my hand,  my anxiety was predictable and it always the same:

What would be the perfect cake for this situation? ! ?

Finally, with this recipe, I can put the Xanex aside.


(And so can you. This cake might put the pharmaceutical companies out of business. It’s that comforting.)



  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF

  2. Beat eggs with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes

  3. Add honey to eggs and beat for another three minutes

  4. Fold in almond meal

  5. Fold in olive oil, yogurt,  orange zest and rosemary

  6. Pour into pan and bake for 30-33 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

  7. Let rest on a rack and then carefully remove from cake pan, using a knife to peel away bottom.

  8. Eat warm or save by covering with foil...will stay moist for several days.


Passover cooking classes are this week! If you live in LA and would like to take classes with Elana, please visit www.mealandaspiel.com

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