The girl who played with a wood fired oven

travfoodmenuibiza4Philippa Davis finds there is more to Ibiza than drinking and clubbing

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 aisle.

Ibiza is of course known for its excellent clubbing scene and fun nightlife, but it is also an island of great beauty, food, secluded alcoves and paradise-like beaches.

travfoodmenuibiza3My 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 there are a few who impressively haven’t gone to bed yet!)

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 sunny days and blue skies, a jolly crowd and the perfect secluded Ibizan spot my favourite thing on this job was … that they had a wood oven to play with.

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 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.

travfoodmenuibiza2Cherry, lime, almond and tequila cake

I confess the tequila doesn’t come through taste-wise much once cooked, but 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 ground almonds
1tsp vanilla
Zest of 2 limes
300g stoned cherries (stoned as in stones taken out rather than Ibiza ‘stoned’ ).
Splash of tequila
30g flaked almond

travfoodmenuibiza5Line a 20cm x 20cm 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 to 40 minutes or when a cake skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then slice and serve. Delicious for breakfast after a late night!

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