Almost Guilt Free Rosemary Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Apricot Compote

Searching for an olive oil cake to make this weekend I came across a link to Catholic Guilt and Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake from Lora at The Cake Duchess.  Please follow the link to find the recipe and her story.  I love the story that goes along with her recipe but decided that my olive oil cake with it’s apricot compote would be guilt free this weekend.  As I drove to the store to buy lemons for the cake I couldn’t get the idea of Catholic guilt out of my head, I think it’s a deeper more intense type of guilt than your average every day kind of guilt.  I’m not exactly sure but this weekend I wanted to be in a guilt free zone.  I thought I could accomplish that by allowing myself to relax, cook, take walks, go to the farmers market and experiment with my camera.  I bought Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin and also spent some time this weekend trying to decipher the chapter on shutter speed, aperture and ISO.  That quickly became enough photography info for the weekend. It can be frustrating not getting the desired effects in my pictures so I decided to put some time into learning more about my camera in an attempt to break free from my picture taking rut routine, sort of like a New Year’s resolution in June.   Realizing that I might be suffering from photography guilt, one of the worst types- up there with Catholic Guilt, I decided to let it go and not intrude into my guilt free weekend zone.  Let me also share with you that it’s not easy taking pictures of  food outdoors, the elements on what appears to be a lovely Summer afternoon can be harsh.  Contending with ants, bees, mosquitoes, wind, bright sunlight, shadows etc. while trying to keep my cake looking fresh and stress free can be challenging.  Kind of sounds like I was photographing my cake in a swamp and not in my backyard doesn’t it?  There were decisions to make about how much compote to put on the cake and does it look too gooey?  A short drive back to the farmers market to buy more apricots to show whole in the photo to counter balance the gooeyness of the compote was a distinct possibility.  It’s much easier to eat a piece of cake than to take a picture of it and you can quote me on that.  Anyway I did have a relaxing weekend and a wonderful rosemary lemon olive oil cake to enjoy and share with friends.  I followed Lora’s directions but didn’t have a tube pan so I baked my cake in a bundt pan instead.  It’s a light flavorful cake that goes great with fruit like apricots and if you love rosemary you should consider giving this recipe a try.

Please follow above link to visit Lora at The Cake Duchess for her story and  recipe for Rosemary Lemon Olive Oil Cake.

Ingredients & Directions for Apricot Compote

8 ripe apricots, sliced into wedges
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 strips lemon peel, use a vegetable peeler

In a medium saucepan combine the water, sugar, vanilla bean and lemon peel strips and bring to a simmer.  Add the apricot wedges and simmer until the fruit is soft, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove the lemon peels.  If you use the vanilla extract add it to the fruit at the end of cooking.

Makes about 2 cups

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  1. How funny Patty, I picked up a bunch of apricots today and made jam with them. Love how you added them to Lora's cake. No need to feel any guilt with this one. You will have to teach me when you become a camera expert.

  2. Patty – this cake and compote look absolutely stunning and delish. I too bought the book and trying to work my way through it. Perhaps over the long holiday weekend. I think the process is fun to continue to learn. This is a must make – on my list – check! :)

  3. The cake and compote sound simply delicious. Great post!

  4. Hi, Patty! So glad you had a guilt-free weekend. I DO love rosemary and really want to try this one. Yum! Oh, and no, it does NOT look too gooey–it looks like “Where's my fork?” :)Just planted some more rosemary, too, so no excuses!

  5. Delicious and gorgeous. So happy you posted this. I wonder if I could substitute peaches for apricots?

  6. Hi Kim, I think you could use peaches, may need to adjust amount of sugar depending on sweetness of your fruit;-)

  7. I love your photos, Patty, and the patience that goes into making them beautiful. Patience in photographing is something I certainly don't have. I write instead of photograph. And while my husband tries so hard to take good foodie photos (and does a pretty good job) he says the camera is crap. I say he needs to spend more time learning about it like you, wouldn't you?

    PS: I don't believe in guilt, only choices!

  8. Wow, Patty-When I started to read the “Catholic Guilt” title of the cake…it clicked immediately, that it's my daughter Lora's cake. I remember asking her, why would she give a title, like that?…LOL
    She is right now, on her second week of vacation bliss, just outside of Como, Italy…visiting her in-laws.
    You did an amazing job on that yummy cake, love the apricot compote paired with the citrus cake.
    Thanks for doing such a beautiful mention to Lora, and the delicious cake…photos are awesome, as well:DDD

  9. Very good and delicious!

  10. This cake looks wonderful…and I'd certainly take a slice over having to tinker with my camera. Patty, you've been taking great captures lately…pat yourself on the back and have another piece of cake ;o)

    Ciao for now and have a great week.

  11. What a pretty cake with a gorgeous crumb…it sounds super flavorful too! The apricot compote sounds like the perfect topping!

  12. Those are gorgeous photos, Patty- no guilt needed there! I've ordered that same book in hopes that I can take some time and work on my photography this summer. The cake is lovely and looks beautiful with the apricot compote. You are so right that it's easier to eat a slice of cake than to photograph it! This one would be soooo easy to eat right now. :)

  13. If you're in a photography rut then I'm in photography hell! I'm glad you put it aside and enjoyed the rest of your weekend guilt-free. The cake looks so moist and the apricot compote a perfect pairing with rosemary flavor.

  14. Great post. I have certainly experienced frustration along my path to become a better photographer. Just keep cooking and clicking, and eating, of course!

  15. I don't know what you've learned but your photos of baked goodie are killing me! It motivates me to bake more and crave for bakery/pastry type for dessert!

  16. It does not look too gooey but I sure know what you mean! And I will quote you on that ; )

  17. Your cake looks lovely and fluffy. Apricot compote sounds like the perfect pairing. Whatever you're reading about shutter speed, aperture and ISO seems to to be working, you're photos are picture perfect. I always prefer eating my food than taking pictures of it. It's so deceiving because some photos (such as yours) your easier shot than done. Hope that made sense. You always have such great shots, Patty. Another lovely recipe!

  18. Like you, I think I may also be suffering from Catholic guilt in my photography. I intend to get a copy of Plate to Pixel as well. Summer time, believe it or not, presents the greatest challenge for me in terms of photography as I live on a very shady lot with huge mature trees. Nothing seems to work, not even artificial lighting…sigh!

    Glad to hear the cake is guilt-free :) Have a Happy 4th!

  19. Hi Patty! I think you sum up pretty well how a lot of us feel about challenges in food photography. I've had the same issues about styling and also whether or not I should take the food outside for shots. That said, your photos always entice us to try your recipes so I'd say you have more success with your photography than you realize. Take this cake, for instance. The images are sharp and invite me to take a bite with a big dollop of your compote. I'm still having my morning tea and feeling sorely deprived without this to enjoy with it. :-)

  20. It looks so moist and flavorful. LOVE <3 olive oil cakes!

  21. I have yet to try using olive oil in cakes…this looks so soft, and moist!

  22. Hi Patty,
    I've been staring at your photos for a couple of minutes now. I don't know what I like more : the cake or the compote. Both look and sound delicious and your photos are stunning!
    Thanks for sharing and happy weekend

  23. Your cake looks gorgeous and apricot compote…delightful! I thought Lora's was beautiful as well :)
    Oh, and your photos are gorgeous as well…it is hard to photograph outdoors but they all look beautiful!

  24. I knew I was missing something..(in my apricot saga) Your apricot compote !! I would love to have that cake for dinner tonight…apricots…I have like two kilos in my fruit basket and fridge!!

  25. Wow, again, Patty! Your photos just make me want to eat a piece of this cake right now!

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