A long time ago, I made this cake. I loved it. So did my aunt. I swore I would have to make it for her again. But birthdays, so many, with their attendant cakes to make, celebrations, occasions, distractions, other people and their needs/wants/threats, got in the way. Like her all-time favourite carrot cake and her apple pie, it got filed away, never to be remade in that ever-changing rotation of cake priorities. It always makes me sad. Even if the other party couldn’t give a toss. Or even has an inkling of my unuttered intentions. In an ideal world, I would have my favourite people close to me, and they would be fed their favourite food, one by one, day by day. Now, on another continent, with herbs in the backyard (by some miracle, they are not dead), but aunt-less, here is a sage version.
I adapted this recipe, which is from Mario Batali, to use less sugar. It really isn’t sweet, which is what I like, but people who like their sweets sweet might want to increase the sugar. Also because there is less sugar, it is slightly drier and bakes faster. Mine was done at the half-hr mark, though I left it for an extra five mins, just to be sure.
My ingredients in grams:
190g T55 flour (or all-purpose)
1 TBS baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 TBS fresh sage leaves chopped up finely
Mix all this evenly in a bowl. What I do is to give it a few whisks with the same whisk I’ll use to beat the eggs – one less thing to wash!
4 large eggs
140g white sugar
150g olive oil
In a big bowl, whisk eggs briefly. Add sugar and beat till lightened and increased in volume. Drizzle olive oil in while continuing to whisk. (I wish I could have shown you how the metal bowl gained a momentum of its own and spun round like a whirling dervish while the greenish oil trickled down. I’m lucky it didn’t spin off the counter altogether.) Resist the urge to dip into the thickened but still somehow light and somewhat frothy mix. Add flour mix and just fold in gently till everything is one. Bake. For aunts or otherwise.