The Flavorful Herb To Upgrade Olive Oil Cake

Desserts with unexpected ingredients are fun to make and fun to serve. Maybe you love chocolate and chocolate on its own is fabulous. But add peanut butter, caramel, or sea salt to chocolate and you've got yourself an entirely different, unique treat. The same goes when making other kinds of desserts like pies, crumbles, cookies or tartes. 

Depending on what kind of dessert you're baking, you might want to explore ways to twist the recipe just slightly to make it your own. One of the most unique twists is baking with olive oil instead of butter. It's a great switch for anyone sensitive to dairy and it has an entirely original taste to it — as well as a moist texture. 

Olive oil cake already has a savory note because the fat used in the recipe is olive oil in lieu of straight butter. But it can be nice to accent that flavor with another savory element: an herb.

Try adding rosemary

There are a few herbs that have flavor profiles that lend themselves well to sweet dishes to give them a savory, herbaceous note. You've probably seen a dessert plate garnished with a sprig of mint, but another herb that works well with sweet is rosemary. According to My Recipes, baking with rosemary adds a depth to the flavor that is unexpected and yet pleasing. They state that rosemary pairs nicely with desserts that feature lemons, sweet potatoes, peaches, plums, and even oranges, helping to balance the fruit's natural sweetness. 

Bake from Scratch explains that rosemary's savory flavor is delicate and won't overpower your other flavors. Instead it simply adds dimension and compliments the sweetness. Just like adding a pinch of salt to a dessert can balance the sweetness, the rosemary serves the same purpose with its floral notes (notes NYT Cooking), which means it works well to balance more fruit-forward dishes. 

Next time you're making an olive cake or a fruity dessert, try incorporating rosemary to it. And if you're wary, add a little bit at first and then more to taste.