Olive oil and sweets


Olive oil is often a wonderful supplement for butter in many recipes for cakes and cookies. However, I recently heard one of the most interesting (and perhaps intellectual) recipes for using olive oil.

After I recovered from eating all of that cheese last weekend, I received an invitation to visit the Laboratorio di resistenza dolciaria in Alba. The name literally translates to the Laboratory of the Sweet Resistance and this pastry shop stands in sharp contrast to Ferrero an their industrial produced Kinder snacks and sweets. How could I resist! After being introduced to Federico, the owner and head pastry chef, we chatted for a while and then he invited me to give him a hand making baci di dama. It was great just to work along side Federico and Annette, a student from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. We talked about our passions for food, our ideas and our experiences.

Federico explained a cake that he had invented: it was supposed to symbolise the trip he had made through Liguria north to south. The base of the cake is chestnut flour (a type of flour often frowned upon in Italy because of its association with hunger during the Second World War), eggs as well as yogurt made from goats’ milk. Federico told me the cake is quite dry so he serves it with olive oil. I had heard of putting olive oil in a cake but never of using it finish a cake.

I like the idea that a dish can communicate a landscape or a voyage. Food can make us dream and travel without even leaving the table. Bravo, Federico!

The Laboratorio di Resistenza Dolciaria is located in Alba, Italy in via Ferrero 11. Tel. (39)0173284185.