Overwhelmed Under the Arches: La Mezquita, Cordoban Highlights, and a Clementine Cake

Looking up at the iconic arches in the mosque.

During my second year of university I took a little break from a full science course load and took some artsy electives.  One of my favourite classes was ‘Intro to Spanish Culture’ — our teacher, an enthusiastic academic from Andalucia, had me captivated after the first class.  Shortly thereafter I heard about this language assistant program in Spain, I applied the following year, and now here I am! Crazy.
One of the images I remembered the most from that class was that of the great mosque in Cordoba.  TShap and I ended up going back there twice, we were so amazed by the structure and the history of the building (plus, tourist tip! the entry is free from 8:30-10am!).  Although the mosque really is fantastic to see, many tours make it the only stop, and I would recommend staying to see the rest of this beautiful town.  From the Jewish quarter, to the Alcazar, to the gorgeous patios at Palacio de Viana, there is a lot to see. Catch a flamenco show, try some bull’s tail stew, and enjoy!

Craftsman at work at the Zocco Market

Looking into one of the patios at the Palacio de Viana.

This cake showcases two of the most abundant ingredients in Andalucia: citrus and olive oil.  This was my first weekend without traveling;  I enjoyed some downtime (and partying) at ‘home’ in Huelva and baked for the first time since I’ve been in Spain — it felt nice!  I was a little nervous with how using our new oven for the first time would go but this cake worked out so well! I was very pleased.  

Flamenco concert in Cordoba

Trying Rabo del Torro…I was wary but it was delicious.

Great travel buddy and photographer, twin:)


Clementine Olive Oil Cake with Dark Chocolate Chunks
This cake comes together in a snap.  I love the combination of citrus and chocolate, and the olive oil keeps it at just the right level of sweetness.

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup olive oil, plus a little more to grease the pan
juice and zest of three clementines (you can use other types of oranges too: mandarins, oranges would work! Just have it work out so that you use about 3 tablespoons of juice and 1.5 tablespoons of zest)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate
Mix together sugar and eggs.  Stir in olive oil and the clementine juice and zest.  Mix the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients until incorporated. Stir in dark chocolate chunks.  Pour batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan and bake for approx 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean at 350F.  Buen provecho!

2 thoughts on “Overwhelmed Under the Arches: La Mezquita, Cordoban Highlights, and a Clementine Cake

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