Im thrilled to be part of the blog tour for this gorgeous book .

Here is a recipe for a cake which features in the book .

Jo Thomas – The Olive Branch recipe

I love to have the family around the table. I love the sound of chatter around the table, the smell of roasting meat and the clink of glasses. On Saturdays I cook pizzas. Pasta plays a big part in our weekday meals. But on a Sunday I like to cook a roast dinner and if we’re having friends or family over.

I’ve made lemon, prosecco and olive oil cake for family lunches before. This is Gennaro’s recipe.

This cake is perfect for dessert, wrapping up all the flavours of Puglia, lemons, prosecco and olive oil.  It’s a

simple, light but gorgeous cake.

Gennaro’s Lemon and Prosecco cake.

6 eggs, separated

100g sugar

3 tablespoons olive oil

150ml Prosecco

Finely grated zest of 3 lemons, and the juice of 1

150g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ a teaspoon vanilla essence

Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°c/350 F/Gas mark 4

Lightly grease a 24cm round cake tin with butter and dust with flour.

Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy. Beat in the olive oil, prosecco, lemon zest and juice. Then gently add the flour, baking powder and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 150°c and continue to bake for a further 20 minutes. Switch off the oven, open the door, and leave to


Remove, place on a plate & sprinkle with sieved icing sugar.

Try it with a glass of prosecco or maybe a glass of limoncello.


* 5 unwaxed lemons

* 1l bottle vodka

* 750g caster sugar

* 700ml boiling water


1. Pare the zest from all the lemons, taking care not to include any white pith. Put the zest in a large clean jar and pour over the vodka. Cover with a tightly fitting lid and leave for a week, shaking the jar each day.

2. Put the sugar in a heatproof bowl and pour over the boiling water, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the vodka and peels and leave for a further week, shaking the jar regularly.

3. Strain into decorative bottles, adding a few strips of lemon zest to each bottle. Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2004

Heres my review again for this perfect summer read .

Firstly thank you to Frances at headline for sending me a copy to review . I was on the blog  tour for The oyster catcher last year which was Jos debut novel . You can have a read of that review here

So I was really happy to have the chance to review her latest book.

Jos writing has the ability to transport you to where her book is set, her use of such descriptive language really sets the scene . By the end of the book if I closed my eyes I could smell and even taste all that Italy could offer .

This is perfect escapism especially if your not managing to travel anywhere .

Ruthies life couldn’t be any more different than what she imagines and it appears to have changed overnight ….by a click of a button .

There’s nothing for her anymore in London so if you are going to have a fresh start why not make it as good as possible .

Ruthie is brave and a strong female character and has to be resilient  when she manages to ruffle a few feathers upon her arrival in Italy .

Through hard work and sheer determination she manages to give her new life a go but its not a without a few bumps along the way and even a headstrong female in the form of a goat !

Very well written and a beautiful story all set in a gorgeous location .

Ruthie proves dreams can come true just sometimes not how you planned and sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith .

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