For quite a few weeks now, I have been eyeing this un-used bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in my pantry. I really only cook with regular olive oil, as this "extra virgin" stuff, or as Rachael Ray calls it: "EVOO" is super fruity and adds quite a different flavor when you cook. Upon surfing the website tastespotting.com (by the way, if you don't know what it is, please check it out as it hosts the best food blogs and recipes all compiled into one big site. I may or may not have spent hours trolling this URL), I came upon an "olive oil cake" recipe. GENIUS!
Upon more hours surfing the world wide webs, the recipes all sounded pretty easy and similar to other cake recipes, but with a fruity twist. I decided to pair mine with some orange zest, and a citrus glaze to keep it moist, topped with slivered almonds for crunch. These flavor combos had my tongue thinking I was in Italy, but alas, this was surely baked in my Brooklyn kitchen, and couldn't be easier. You won't regret this if you try it. Buon Appetit!
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
zest of three large oranges (or 3 tbsp worth)
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup slivered almonds, for topping
juice of 3 large oranges
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Preheat your oven to 350F and line a 8 or 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper, lightly oil or spray the pan before lining to prevent sticking. Begin with a medium bowl and sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a larger bowl using an electric mixer, or a whisk, beat together the eggs, sugar and orange zest until the eggs are light and fluffy, sugar is creamed and the mixture about doubles in size (takes roughly 5 minutes if using the electric mixer). Beat in the buttermilk until incorporated, then gradually add the olive oil, little by little, continuing to use the electric mixer or whisking swiftly. This will prevent the batter from looking like an oil&water mess, and rather create a nice emulsion. Once fully incporporated, take the flour mixture and add little by little by folding in with a spatula. This will keep the cake from deflating. Add the batter to your greased/lined cake pan and evenly top with the slivered almonds. Bake for 35-45 minutes (my oven took 47 minutes, so be sure to use the toothpick test and wait until it comes out clean in the middle of the cake). Let cool thoroughly on a drying rack. Prepare the glaze: juice your oranges and add the sugar, & whisk together until sugar fully dissolves. Poke some holes in your cake with a toothpick in an even manner (not too many, just enough to let the glaze seep through in each part). Gently glaze the enture surface area of the cake with a small spoon, and let dry.
SERVE AND DEVOUR!