The girl who played with a wood fired oven
I felt like a real party pooper as I sat soberly on the plane heading from Edinburgh to Ibiza. It was around midday and the rest of passengers were clearly well on their way to tipsy land. Amusingly as soon as the seatbelt sign went off the entire plane (minus me and a chap who had already passed out) got up to use the ‘facilities’ then once that kerfuffle was over the drinks trolley became like a moving god down the isle . Ibiza is of course known for its excellent clubbing scene and fun nightlife however for those who have discovered it there is also an island of great beauty, food, secluded alcoves and paradise like beaches.
My days started with trips to the bakery, a great time to people watch as a few locals are already out sipping their morning coffees (and of course a few who impressively haven’t gone to bed yet!) then a dash to the shops before the roads get super busy. Despite its increased popularity I love the fact that the ingredients available are generally very local and so of course seasonal and tasty.
Sun ripened tomatoes, watermelon and figs were particularly delicious standouts and of course there is always an impressive amount of fresh fish available.
Despite the glittering blue seas, one of the prettiest dinning courtyards I have ever seen, the bright sunny days and blue skies, a jolly crowd and the prefect secluded Ibizan spot my favourite thing on this job was….
There is something about cooking in these beauties that completely does it for me. The fire management, choosing different woods to get different smokes , the dry heat it produces which is perfect for roasting vegetables and meats and of course the insane temperatures you can get it to reach to cook pizza.
This postcard recipe isn’t wood smoked as even I realise doing cake in a wood oven is taking it too far but it does use a fruit very much associated with Ibiza, the cherry. So I give you my almond, lime and cherry cake.
I learnt : Cherry smasher is 1920s slang for a feeble kiss
Every Home should have : their pools painted white
I’m driving : a smart car, pretty smart until you want to fit your shopping into it.
I’m loving : the wood oven
We ate : 3 kilos of watermelon
Tequila : is the drink of the summer
Im listening to : La Traviata
Cherry, lime, almond and tequila cake
I confess the tequila doesn’t come through taste wise much once cooked, however once the bottle is out and open it may encourage you to make margaritas which of course is an excellent thing.
Pre heat the oven to 160 °C fan oven
250g butter (room temperature )
200g caster sugar
3 free range or organic eggs
160g SR flour
100g gr almonds
1 ts vanilla
2 lime zest
300g stoned cherries (stoned as in stones taken out rather than Ibiza ‘stoned’ ).
Splash of tequila
30g flaked almond
Line a 20 cm x 20 cm approx. cake tin with baking parchment
Splash the tequila onto the destoned cherries and leave to one side while you make the cake
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
Briefly whisk in the eggs.
Tip in the flour, almonds, vanilla and lime zest and beat until combined
Scoop the cake batter into the tin and scatter over the cherries then the flaked almonds.
Bake for 30 – 40 mins or a cake skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin, then slice and serve.
Delicious for breakfast after a late night ;).