Recently I’ve noticed a new addition to my local coffee shop; alongside the almond croissants and Violet cupcakes are some beautifully wrapped Tortas de Aceite (Olive oil cakes). However, at £2.25 a pop I never quite took the plunge. Luckily for me, though, M&S have just started stocking them so sent in a few packs for us to try…
These flaky, sweet Spanish pastries are shaped like traditional Spanish flabreads and have been made in Seville for over 100 years. I say pastries, but really it’s a cross between a pastry and biscuit… in fact, there isn’t really any British product to compare it to. There are two flavours: traditional olive oil or almond olive oil, but both are studded with aniseed. It’s not too overpowering, but is unusual addition that complements the caramelised sugar crystals scattered on top perfectly. It’s a lovely combination of sweet and savoury in each bite.
Intriguingly, the ingredients are remarkably simple: Wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil (20%), sugar, almond (15%), anise seeds, salt, sesame and natural anise essence. Whenever I see percentages in ingredient lists, it makes me want to piece together a recipe and try to make them at home… Maybe another day! Until then, I’m quite happy to let Tortas Gaviño individually handmake them for me in Seville. They are pricey, but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one now I’ve tried them — dip into coffee, eat as a snack, use them as a delicious aniseedy vehicle for cheese… Seriously good. Try one at your peril — you won’t be able to stop.
What’s the damage? £2.95 for 6 (or around £2-£2.50 from coffee shops)
Stockists M&S, local coffee shops & delis