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Slow Food: Two Cakes for Spring by Julia Ostro


At the turn of the season, we often find ourselves looking to Julia Ostro for cooking inspiration, and with celebrations of all shapes and sizes on the horizon, we’re thinking about baked goods to feed the masses.

With quintessentially Julia Ostro spins on the classics, chocolate cake is taken to new heights with rosemary and olive oil, and blueberries are made all the more interesting with cardamom and a yoghurt glaze.

From the rich and decadent chocolate to the lightness of blueberries and yoghurt, these two recipes fulfill a unique array of palates, making for the perfect recipes to bake for a Sunday spring lunch.

With ingredients that celebrate the garden, we’re picturing park parties aplenty in the spring sun.




150g unsalted butter, softened

150g caster sugar

3 eggs

150g natural yoghurt

50ml olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

250g self raising flour

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom (seeds from approximately three pods)

200g fresh blueberries


50g natural yoghurt

30g icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 21cm Bundt tin. Make sure you are thorough. Cakes are notorious for sticking to these tins because of all the bumps and curves, so really get into every corner. You could also substitute a Bundt tin for a ring pan, or a regular circular tin, however with the latter, the cake will need a few minutes longer in the oven. 

2. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and thick. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and then add the yoghurt, olive oil and vanilla. Whisk until combined. 

3. Sift over the flour and add in the cardamom to the mixture. Gently mix the batter with a wooden spoon or whisk until just combined. The mixture should be thick but not stiff. If it is too thick, just add an extra spoonful of yoghurt and combine. Add the blueberries and gently stir. 

4. Spoon the batter into the tin and give the tin a solid tap on the bench to release any air bubbles. Smooth the top and bake the preheated oven for approximately 50 minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently pressed. Allow to cool in tin, then invert onto a serving plate.

5. Meanwhile, for the glaze, sift the icing sugar into the yoghurt and mix until smooth. Depending on how thick your yoghurt is, you may need to add more icing sugar. Your glaze should be the consistency of pouring cream. 

6. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and serve at room temperature. 




180ml extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs
300g natural yoghurt
300g caster sugar
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
300g self-raising flour
50g bittersweet cocoa powder
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary, plus extra to serve

180g 70% chocolate, finely chopped
160ml pouring cream


1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 23cm round cake tin.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, yoghurt, sugar and vanilla seeds until combined.
3. Sift flour and cocoa into wet ingredients and add rosemary. Mix well to combine.
4. Pour into prepared tin a bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out just clean. Cool slightly in tin and turn out onto wire rack to completely cook.
5. Meanwhile, heat the cream until just begins to simmer. Take off heat and pour over chocolate. Leave to sit for a couple of minutes and then stir until all the chocolate has melted. Set aside for 10 minutes to cook and thicken slightly. Pour over cake and let drip down the sides. Top the cake with extra rosemary sprigs and flowers.

FoodEcho Collective