Savoury Cake

I first tried this savoury cake when on a road trip in France during the European spring. It was served to us as with drinks before a dinner consisting of platters of meat and salads served outside under the stars. Not only was this cake perfect with both bubbles and beer, it was part of a night we’ll remember for a long time.

Aside from tasting great, this cake is a perfect way to use up leftovers – bacon from breakfast (as if there’s ever any bacon leftover from breakfast), bits and pieces of cheese, herbs, olives and other things from when you had dips, chips and nibbly bits last night, that cheek of capsicum that was left after you finished making the chilli. That sort of thing. In fact, it’s the sort of cake best left until your last night in camp – and then you can have it sliced with butter the next morning as well.

The recipe is below, but you really can put anything in it. Just remember, though, if you’re using zucchini to squeeze out the liquid in a cloth first.

We cooked it in on a trivet in the camp oven on the Oz Pig. You could, however, also cook it over coals. Remember though, for baking you need coals on the top and the bottom – just like in an oven.

What you need

  • About a cup of plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 150g unsweetened plain or Greek-style yoghurt – that’s most of a small tub
  • 3 eggs
  • Whatever vegetables you have to hand – chopped peppers, halved (or quartered) cherry tomatoes, a small handful of chopped (and stoned) olives, chopped fresh herbs.
  • Whatever cheeses you have to hand – a handful of grated cheddar, chopped blue or goats cheese.
  • Fried diced bacon, chorizo…if you have it. Otherwise, don’t bother with the meat.

What you do with it

Preheat the camp oven and generously grease a loaf tin. If you have them, sprinkle poppy seeds in – if you don’t, don’t bother.

If you’re using bacon and onion, fry these off first and set aside

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and make a well in the centre for the wet ingredients.

Drop in the eggs, yoghurt, oil and some salt and pepper and whisk to blend – but don’t overmix. If you want, whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl before stirring into the flour. Your call, but I can’t be faffed dirtying another bowl.

Gently mix in your vegetables, herbs, cheeses, bacon…whatever… and put it into your prepared loaf tin. I like to sprinkle extra cheese over the top.

Place it into your camp oven on a trivet – so raised from the bottom – and bake for around 35 mins – until well risen, golden and firm to the touch. Depending on the types of veg and quantity of cheese you’ve used, you might need to pop it in for an extra 5 minutes or so.

Let it cool in its tin on a rack and then turn out onto a board to serve. It’s best cut with a bread knife and served in small slices. Eat with whatever it is that you’re drinking.


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Author, baker, sunrise chaser

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