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Mandarin & Bay Leaf Olive Loaf

Course Dessert
Cuisine Modern Australian
Servings 1 loaf


  • 160 ml mild extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 fresh bay leaves crumpled/bruised, plus extra to decorate
  • 5 –6 mandarins (about 600g depending on their size
  • 225 g plain flour all-purpose
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100 g apple purée
  • 80 ml buttermilk
  • 3 eggs

Apple purée

  • 4 large apples


  • For the apple purée, peel, core and roughly chop the apples. Put the apples and a splash of water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8–10 minutes or until tender. Stir and mash the apples, still over the heat, until broken down – they should be mushy and quite thick. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Heat the olive oil and bay leaves in a small saucepan over low heat for about 10 minutes or until bubbles start to form around the leaves. Set aside to cool and infuse, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves, reserving the oil.
  • Finely zest and juice 3 mandarins – you need 2 tsp of zest and 80ml juice. Thinly slice the remaining whole unpeeled mandarins. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan-forced). Grease a loaf (bar) tin (11.5 cm x 21.5cm) and line the base and two long sides with a piece of non-stick baking paper, extending the paper about 4cm above the sides of the tin.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Whisk the cooled olive oil, apple purée, mandarin zest and juice, buttermilk and eggs together in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined. Pour into the prepared tin and top with the mandarin slices, slightly overlapping them along the centre, as they will spread out as the cake rises.
  • Bake for 45–50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before gently turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely, mandarin-side up.
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