Nov 29, 2009

Christmas Cake. A Different Kind.

There are so many fantastic baking blogs out there that I don’t feel the need to make a lot of pastry contributions. Once in a blue moon I like to whip up something sweet—mainly when I’m in one of those cranky moods—but the cookie and cake thing just ain’t my cup of tea. Probably a DNA mistake of sorts on my part. Between you and me; I’m a reasonable cook, but a horrible baker. I’ll spare you the cookie and collapsing pie stories. They would seriously put me to shame.

What I do like are cookies or cakes with a slight savory twist. Think of it as a wink to the more traditional baking, like my Italian cheese cookies. Now this is an absolutely gorgeous looking savory cake. A friend of mine emailed me the recipe and I got really excited at the idea of serving this for Christmas, rather than the more traditional and often boring Christmas cookies. Sorry to all the cookie lovers out there but if I see another glistening Christmas tree shaped cookie, I’ll drive a nail through my foot. As much as I love Christmas time, I cannot stand those trite cookies. There! I’ve said it!

Are there typical Christmassy foods that make you want to scream? 

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 roasted red bell pepper
4 oz black olives
6oz feta cheese
2 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup olive oil
5 tbsp milk
butter (for greasing)
4 eggs
pepper
salt



Directions:

Line a cake tin and lightly grease the paper. I really should bake more, if only so I could make more use of this gorgeous antique cake tin.

I roasted a red bell pepper earlier. Covered the bowl with plastic wrap and allowed it to cool off.

Sieve two cups of flour and 2 tsp baking powder over a big bowl.

Break 4 eggs (room temperature) over the bowl as well.

And mix them in with the flour.

Add 5 tbsp milk and mix it up some more. The batter was kinda firm here, I wasn’t really sure what to make of it.

Pour in the oil and blend it in. The dough was still very, very firm here.  That was my cue to call my friend and see if this was going to be disastrous. She reassured me that it was supposed to look like this and everything would be just fine. I’m sure that had nothing to do with me threatening her within an inch of her life.

Finely chop all the ingredients and add them to the batter. Season with black pepper and a good pinch (roughly 1/4 tsp) of salt.

Carefully combine all ingredients.

Transfer the batter to the cake tin and use the back of a spoon to level it.

Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 350F (180C) for 55 minutes. Until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

 

This was surprisingly good. Great, even! However, I felt it was more bread-like than cake-like, really. Especially with a little pesto rosso spread on top! Next time I might just add some sauteed shallots, or sun-dried tomatoes to the batter. Maybe even a few sprinkles Parmesan cheese. Definite do-again.

Ehhh sweetie? The cake was superb! And honestly, I really didn’t mean it when I said I would sell your entire chick flick movie collection— including brand new widescreen & home theatre—if the cake didn’t turn out okay!

Kay’s Recipe Card

Click here for printable size.

Christmas Cake. A Different Kind.
Ingredients
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 roasted red bell pepper
    4 oz black olives
    6oz feta cheese
    2 tsp dried oregano
    1/3 cup olive oil
    5 tbsp milk
    butter (for greasing)
    4 eggs
    pepper
    salt
Directions
    Line a cake tin and lightly grease the paper. Roast a red bell pepper, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to cool off. Sieve two cups of flour and 2 tsp baking powder over a big bowl and break Break 4 eggs (room temperature) in there as well. Mix them in with the flour.

    Add 5 tbsp milk and mix it up some more. The batter will be really firm. Pour in the oil and blend it in. Remove the skin and seeds from the roasted pepper, and finely mince the pepper, olives amd feta cheese. Add everything the batte, season with 2 tsp oregano, black pepper and a good pinch (roughly 1/4 tsp) of salt. Carefully combine all ingredients.

    Transfer the batter to the cake tin and use the back of a spoon to level it. Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 350F (180C) for 55 minutes. Until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
Meal type: snacks/savory baking
Servings: 8 slices
copyright © kayotickitchen.com

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    20 Comments »

    1. 1

      I’d eat this any day over fruit cake! I can almost smell it… Mmmm….

      Cat Sparks on Nov 29, 2009 @ 3:09 pm
    2. 2

      Heerlijk! Ik ga dit maken…heeeeelll snel! Feta..olijven…jammie!

      Bar on Nov 29, 2009 @ 5:18 pm
    3. 3

      So gorgeous, and I’m completely with you on the lack of appreciation for sugary Christmas foods!

      Kalynskitchen on Nov 29, 2009 @ 5:43 pm
    4. 4

      Sounds good! I mean, it reads well… oh you understand what I mean. ;-)
      I would substitute one half of the feta with provolone piccante.
      Try to find the Auricchio brand: even here in Italy you risk stumbling into tasteless imitations.
      I would not substitute all the feta, because the provolone might be overpowering.
      This recept has some affinity to the neapolitan Casatiello, but that one contains salami.

      Remo on Nov 29, 2009 @ 7:56 pm
    5. 5

      Yep I have to add this recipe to my collection. It does look really good. It even may become a regular with my christmas traditions.

      Arrisje on Nov 29, 2009 @ 8:31 pm
    6. 6

      Perfect for me, cuz I hate sweets!

      Chantal on Nov 29, 2009 @ 10:35 pm
    7. 7

      ooh, salami… with the provolone and feta sounds great.

      and, I think, some green olives for Christmas color.

      Thanks for the tempting recipe.

      As for your question on unloved Christmas foods — for most of the year, I am a savory over sweet kinda girl. I very rarely make dessert, and if I do, it’s usually a fruit dessert of some kind. I don’t eat candy or drink cola, and I take my coffee black. I enjoy the reasonable recipes here on Kayotic Kitchen — not over-fat, over-spiced, over-fancy, or overly expensive! In other words, great! And, of course, the beautiful photography is what keeps me coming back as much as the recipes.

      However, I love every single trite Christmas cookie, gingerbread, peanut butter fudge, molasses candy, fruitcake, scalloped oyster, rib roast, yorkshire pudding, cranberry salad, chocolate truffle, baklava, cheese ball, stollen, cinnamon roll, hot chocolate, mulled cider, etc., etc., day of Christmas feasting.

      And I make most all of them sometime during the holiday. I’ve tried to think of an unloved Christmas treat, but, I love them all. Closest I can come is that I don’t like candied fruits in my fruitcake — I use dried “real” fruit.

      There are memories or traditions for the foods we love, and Christmas is one of the times when those memories and traditions predominate.

      Deb in Indiana on Nov 30, 2009 @ 12:20 am
    8. 8

      Although I don’t share your feelings about Christmas cookies (the holiday without my Grandma’s Pecan Butter Balls would not be the same) I do love having some savory treats in my repertoire and this sure fits the bill. Savory and beautiful!

      I make all of my holiday gifts for friends and family except for my girls and am always looking for something new to add the the basket of foods, candles and dressings that I send out.

      BTW…the one treat I can’t stand to see at Christmas; those fruitcakes with dried bits of terrible tasting citrus pieces; just makes me cringe thinking of them! I make a fruitcake with dates, nuts, cherries and more and love the reaction when someone tries it; it’s REAL fruit in that cake!

      Barbara Kiebel on Dec 1, 2009 @ 5:46 pm
    9. 9

      Unfortunately, I received your share of the DNA that makes us crave sweets so you can thank me now. I’ll just sit here and wait.

      O.k. you’re welcome and now I have to say that this “cake” looks lovely although red/green peppers are not my cup of tea (i in fact hate them) but could see substituting a green jalapeno or red chili pepper and thinking I’d died and gone to heaven.

      I LOVE your site, btw.

      Midlife Slices on Dec 2, 2009 @ 4:28 pm
    10. 10

      YUM. I love your savory baking recipes, so I definitely have to try this one!!

      LizzieBee on Dec 3, 2009 @ 1:05 pm
    11. 11

      Sounds wonderful. Savory desserts are hard to find. Thanks for the recipe and pics.

      Brad on Dec 3, 2009 @ 9:07 pm
    12. 12

      Ah…a truly kindred spirit. I too do not care for all the cookies and sweets. I will love trying this recipe! Sounds very delicious. I agree with your summation that you think it is more like a bread, and that’s just reading it! Thanks Kay!

      Brewmaven on Dec 5, 2009 @ 6:29 pm
    13. 13

      This looks like a perfect Foodie Gift!!!
      Does this freeze well???
      How long in the fridge would it last? (assuming nobody was home to eat it of course)
      I may just make this today for a Christmas party tonight!!!!!!!!

      Cheers =)

      Sherry on Dec 5, 2009 @ 7:51 pm
    14. 14

      Just love your blog. Love to see those wonderful step by step photo directions. Count me on your fan list.

      This cake / bread looks awesome. Will try it some day.

      Cheers,
      Ramya

      Ramya Kiran on Dec 6, 2009 @ 12:19 am
    15. 15

      Preparation and I was very very good

      ina on Dec 8, 2009 @ 2:20 pm
    16. 16

      nice post. thanks.

      forex robot on Dec 9, 2009 @ 7:27 am
    17. 17

      That looks so beautiful and fluffy, must be heaven to feel in your mouth! I wouldn’t mind adding custard to mine at all, what do you think!

      Sweetarts christmas cakes on Dec 9, 2009 @ 12:21 pm
    18. 18

      This recipe sounds great! I love Christmas cookies but the ones that make me want to gag just looking at them are the frosted sugar cookies. Also, when I was growing up, my Italian grandmother would make hard Italian cookies that were glazed. They were like rocks and tastless. Sorry Nannie!

      Valerie H. on Jan 2, 2010 @ 3:48 am
    19. 19

      Hi,
      I tried this  cake  with  Turkish local cheese, spring onion and sun-dried tomatoes: it was  gorgeous!!! So colourful and delicious. Everbody loved it! I will make it again and again… Thanks a lot for lovely recipe :)

      Perihan on Dec 16, 2010 @ 4:10 pm
    20. 20

      This cake looks great !  My question is can this be made in a bread machine ?

      anna on Aug 11, 2013 @ 7:56 am

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