Those of you who have travelled to Italy know how much we favour a sweet breakfast. Cafes are crowded with Italians standing by the counter dipping a pastry into their morning coffee before they set off to work. Admittedly, this is not the healthiest way to start the day and it it possibly one of very few things Italian get wrong about food. These days I have become an advocate of oatmeal and home-made muesli, however I do like to indulge on weekends and allow myself and my family the undeniable pleasures of white starch and refined sugar! There is hardly anything I crave more on a Saturday morning than diving a freshly baked, large slice of Ciambellone into a coffee artfully prepared by Richard. I feel no guilt, it is part of my DNA, it is my legacy. I have to oblige, at least one a week. So I say, if you truly want to be Italian, get yourself a cake and practise an infallible dunking motion.
Any tea-cake or cookie will do, but my loyalty lies with this very cake my Mamma used to make for us on Sundays.
200 gr (1 cup) of caster sugar
250 gr (2 and 1/3 cups) of self-raising flour
2 tablespoons of corn starch
60 ml (1/4 cup) of grape seed oil (or lightly scented olive oil)
125 gr (1/2 cup) of Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. Whisk eggs and sugar until pale and creamy.
2. Add the oil , Greek youghurt and the vanilla
3. Gently fold in the flour and the corn starch, well sifted. Mix until the batter is combined.
4. Pour 2/3 of the mix into a ring-cake tin (I used a silicon one so I didn’t have to grease it.).
5. Add 3 tablespoons of bitter cocoa and a good splash of Galliano* to the remaining cake batter and mix until smooth.
6. Dollop the cocoa mix on top of the vanilla mix and , using a fork or a chopstick, swirl the two batters together.
7. Bake in a preheated 170 C (340 F) oven for about 35/45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let the cake cool in its tin for about one hour before serving.
Make yourself a good coffee, and get stuck in….
* Galliano is an Italian vanilla-scented liquor. You can omit or substitute with rum.