Can I cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
We’re often asked whether extra virgin olive oil can be used for cooking. The answer is yes and no, and it’s all to do with the quality of the oil. The “smoke point” of an oil is the highest temperature it can be heated to before it breaks down and starts smoking. This smoke point is related to the free fatty acid content of the oil, which is in turn related to the quality.
A high quality EVOO has a very low acidity and you can use it at high temperatures, even for frying. Olive oil must be under 0.8% acidity to be classified as EVOO - but cheaper oils will be close to the limit, and therefore can’t be heated to the higher cooking temperatures.
Eagle Bay Olives EVOO always has very low acidity levels, usually 0.1 or 0.2% (it’s on the label), so can be heated as high as any other oil. Cooking does not destroy the healthy polyphenols in EVOO either, so you can use it in all of your cooking and baking as a healthy alternative to butter.
Our website has a conversion table for replacing butter with olive oil to make it easy for you to adjust your favourite recipes.
Speaking of baking, we’d like to share one of our favourite cake recipes with you. It’s from Sioban Baldini, who runs Wildwood Valley Cooking School in Yallingup and Mad About Tuscany Tours in Italy. Use our Fresh Fruity oil in this one and you’ll be amazed at the flavour.
Ciambellone Recipe (Italian Olive Oil Cake)
2 x 50g eggs
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup skim milk
zest of 2 lemons and juice of 1 lemon
1 ¼ cup plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 170° C and butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar.
Add olive oil, milk and lemon zest and juice and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add to olive oil batter and stir just until smooth.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cooked.
Let cake cool completely, then turn out onto a plate and dust with icing sugar.
The cake can be made with oranges instead of lemons – use the rind of 1 orange and the juice of half an orange.