orange olive oil cake
February 21, 2011 § 2 Comments
I don’t think I ever really anticipated using olive oil in a cake. Sure, I use olive oil for cooking almost everything, but in a cake? That just seemed weird because it is a rather strong flavor. Nonetheless, when I saw Deb’s blood orange olive oil cake, I knew I had to try it. And maybe I didn’t have any blood oranges, but I figured an orange olive oil cake would suit me just fine.
If anyone had been home to watch me make this cake, I’d be terribly embarrassed because I have a penchant for skipping lines in directions and posing all sorts of problems for myself that could be easily avoided. For example, I got so excited about supremeing an orange for the first time that I forgot to zest them first. With two already supremed oranges, I pondered briefly about how to get the zest of two oranges. I spent 5 minutes picking up the peels of the oranges I’d supremed and trying to zest those and instead nearly zested my own skin off. In the end, I just zested the third and final orange I had and washed my hands of the mess (both literally and figuratively).
In the end, as always, Deb’s recipe failed me not and I was rewarded with a moist, fragrant, and complexly flavored cake, thanks to the olive oil. The cake is neither cloyingly sweet nor bitter, despite the flavors of orange and olive oil. It has the texture of a breakfast/coffee cake and the citrusy brightness just lends itself further to being just that. It’s great with a cup of Earl Grey in the morning.
Orange Olive Oil Cake
from smitten kitchen
Butter for greasing pan
3 blood oranges
1 cup (200 grams or 7 ounces) sugar
Scant 1/2 cup (118 ml) buttermilk or plain yogurt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup (156 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cups (219 grams or 7 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Grate zest from 2 oranges and place in a bowl with sugar. Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until orange zest is evenly distributed in sugar.
Supreme an orange: Cut off bottom and top so fruit is exposed and orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away peel and pith, following curve of fruit with your knife. Cut orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Repeat with another orange. Break up segments with your fingers to about 1/4-inch pieces.
Halve remaining orange and squeeze juice into a measuring cup; you’ll will have about 1/4 cup. Add buttermilk or yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs and olive oil.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet ones. Fold in pieces of orange segments. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up. Serve with whipped cream if desired.