Autumn Eves
& Tuscan Olive Oil Cake
November days have us bottling the last of our olive oil, harvesting beets, broccoli and pumpkins, shelling walnuts and making preserves with Annurca apples (a variety indigenous to Campania and believed to be used by Pliny the Elder). As Indian summer days wane into autumn eves, we are keeping ourselves busy with cooking and baking and test-kitchen tastings. 

Cooking in the rhythm of the seasons is a way of every day life in Italy. It's a time to use last year’s olive oil too before the new oil arrives — because in Italy, there is no waste at all. 

Join us in the kitchen as we prepare a delectable Tuscan olive oil cake. It can be served for breakfast alongside a creamy cappuccino or caffè or also topped with gelato.  

Olio Nuovo 
Our  olio nuovo , new olive oil, is in the process of being put into green glass bottles (never plastic). Our oil is extra virgin, first-cold-pressed (without heat because heat renders more oil, but it also degrades the quality) using Leccino, Curatora, Frantoio & Coratina — four varieties of olives that grow in Campania.

The fruits have been tenderly cared for all year long by our grower, Signor Salvatore, (without using additives or chemicals) in a small private olive grove with 600 trees that are over 100 years old. 

The yield is approximately 14 liters of olive oil for every 100 kg of olives, but it varies each year depending on the harvest.

The olives are hand-picked when ripe sometime between September to October (depending on the season), then pressed immediately. When the olives are not pressed right away they oxidise and this increases the acidity level. 

In order to qualify as extra virgin, the oil undergoes a chemical test and a sensory evaluation by a tasting panel of the International Olive Council. 

Our extra-virgin olive oil has a very low, 0.20% to 0.25%, acidity (acidity refers to the amount of oleic acid in the oil). In order to qualify as extra virgin, it needs to have 0.50% acidity. 

Olive Oils
Lemon, Rosemary & Chili Pepper
We also produce lemon, rosemary and chili pepper infused oil. The process is the same, the only difference is that lemons, rosemary or chili pepper are also crushed on a cold press with the olives. The pits, peels and residue are removed before bottling (to avoid the acidity level from rising because olive oil is acidic and will cook anything that is left it it). Keep your olive oil in a cool dry place, away from sunlight and not on the stove, and never in the fridge. 

Our olive trees grow in rich volcanic soil, under a warm Mediterranean sun, with a salty sea wind - and that’s why they taste so good!

Recipe Card
Olive Oil Cake

  • 2 lemons, unwaxed
  • ⅓ cup of olive oil (not extra virgin) ~ just regular olive oil.
  • ½ teaspoon of organic lemon extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup Turbinado sugar
  • Sliced, toasted almonds for garnishing

 Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease a round cake pan of about 9 to 10 inches.  Cut off the ends of the lemons then chop into small pieces. Place them in food processor and blend. Add the oil and lemon extract.

Mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy, then add the sugar.

Slowly add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, a little at a time, then gently fold in the lemon and oil mixture. When all of the ingredients are mixed well, pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 55 minutes. (Test with a very thin skewer, and when it comes out dry, the cake should be ready.) Remove from oven, leave to cool, then garnish with powdered sugar and lemon slices or leaves.

Happy Baking

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