Olive, red pepper and anchovy cake and a volatile hoarder


To follow on from this post, unfortunately our black hen died. Hens seem to be so vulnerable to attack from disease, foxes, dogs and perhaps even other hens. I imagined she was suffering from depression when maybe she was just sad to be sick. 😦

We were (when I say ‘we’ I suppose I mean ‘I’ as, unlike me, neither husband nor son obsesses about our animals) rather worried about the white hen who had disappeared suddenly. We eventually found her over a week later under two enormous bales of hay in a little-used barn, sitting on no fewer than 23 eggs; The little minx had obviously been hiding, laying and hoarding! Don’t ever let it be said that hens can’t multitask. So to add to our  animals’ extensive list of mental disorders, we now appear to be the proud owners of a compulsively hoarding hen.  Can anyone tell me where I can get my hands on an animal that doesn’t have ‘issues’?

This savoury cake is based on an old French recipe and goes beautifully with soup or hors d’oeuvres. It’s quite light and crumbly and, being made with spelt flour, healthy, wheat-free and low GI.


175g spelt flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon paprika

1 pot of yoghurt (125g)

3 organic eggs, beaten

100ml olive oil

50g red pepper, finely chopped

40g black olives, stones removed

50g sun dried tomatoes

6 anchovies

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the flour, baking powder,  bicarbonate of soda and paprika and add the eggs and yoghurt, mixing well. Continue mixing and add the olive oil until you obtain a homogenous paste. Stir in the other ingredients and once well combined, spoon the mixture into a medium-sized, oiled loaf tin. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.

22 responses to “Olive, red pepper and anchovy cake and a volatile hoarder

  1. Animals can be OCD, my Izzy is and has panic attacks. Amazing about your hen, a hoarding hen. wow!!! Love this savory cake and it’s so simple to make, I imagine that you can add so many different things, herbs etc.., Happy Mothers Day!!

    • Is it Mothers’ Day in the US today? Happy Mothers’ Day to you too! It isn’t in France until the end of May… You’re right – this cake is very versatile – sweet, savoury, etc. It’s pretty foolproof too, which suits me 😉

  2. Sorry to hear about Ms Black, but laughed at Ms White outwitting you all! And what a mighty fine loaf to use up some of her hoard in. Amazing flavour combinations, all of which win with me, and no kneading required so super-quick. I made a similar style of loaf last summer with courgettes, sun-dried tommies and loads of herbs. Shall be trying your combo though, divine!

  3. Sorry for the loss of your black hen! On the bright side… this loaf sounds delicious 🙂

  4. I’m ridiculously sad to hear about your hen! Balanced by chuckling over the thought of a hoarding hen. And hungry for a slice of the bread. (Anchovies!)

    • Sad, chuckling and hungry – you’re almost as impressive in the multi-tasking stakes as our white hen 😉 I’d never imagined five years ago that I could be upset over a hen’s demise…

  5. Just in case you weren’t aware spelt has as much or more gluten in it than wheat. I am a celiac so spelt just does me in.

    • Thank you for pointing that out Joyce Rebecca 🙂 I am aware that spelt contains gluten, which is why I specified that the cake was ‘wheat-free’ and not ‘gluten-free’. Obviously it’s not something that is appropriate for celiacs, but it is far more digestible than wheat gluten for wheat-sensitive people like me.

  6. So sad to hear about your black hen. But I’m sort of laughing about your hoarding hen. As with people, I’m sure almost all animals have “issues.” I can’t say I’ve ever had bread with anchovies in it. I’m sure the flavor combination is wonderful. Great post!

  7. Aw, I am so sorry to hear about your black hen. Re animals in general… I agree that pretty much all of them have issues! I used to own a kelpie and he was absolutely obsessive-compulsive. He had daily ‘rituals’ that he abided by, he created a dust storm whenever I started the car… and I think he thought the lawnmower was his friend. He used to sit by it, then follow it around when I mowed the lawn. Crazy dog. I do think these ‘mental health disorders’ make the world more interesting though! Just like crazily eccentric people 🙂 Love the look of your gorgeous cake. The combination of olives, red peppers and anchovies sounds divine!

  8. So sorry to hear about your black hen. Thanks for posting this delicious-sounding recipe, however. It’s such a unique recipe (or at least for an American ha!) — I love the addition of anchovies!

  9. Looks great! I have been meaning to experiment with some of these French cakey/loaves. They look so good with lovely combinations of ingredients – you beat me to it! Love the sound of yours. x

  10. Eat to His Glory

    Hmmm I can almost smell it! Looks great

  11. Hi Fiona, you know I love this cake/bread/loaf stuff! Perfect entry for Four Seasons Food so thank you very much xx

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