Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Latest Craving: Olive Oil Cake

I have never been one for overly sweet desserts or intricate baking, so when a client requested this for their final course of a tasting menu I happily obliged. The recipe was simple, and although I wasn't sure what it would ultimately taste like, I knew it was a blank canvas for a truly spectacular dessert. I paired this recipe with a homemade rosemary orange syrup (recipe below) and fresh whipped cream. The end result was a sweet and savory dessert that tasted a lot like an orange Creamcicle (without the artificial aftertaste).

photo by James Ransom

Recipe (adapted from Maialino's)
makes a 9-inch round cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest (about 1 orange)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup rye whiskey or Grand Marnier (optional)

*For Rosemary Orange Syrup:  1 to 2 ratio of orange juice to granulated sugar, 1 tsp dried rosemary, pinch red pepper flake. Reduce by 1/2 to a syrupy consistency and cool.

Heat oven to 350F. Oil, butter or spray your 9-inch cake pan that is at least 2 inches deep. 
In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk olive oil, milk, eggs, orange zest, juice and whiskey. Add the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine, but don't over whisk.
Pour batter into your cake pan and bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 15 minutes, until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges and remove cake from cake pan and set on a wire rack to let cool completely (about 2 hours). Serve at room temperature with the orange rosemary syrup and some fresh whipped cream.


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