Ever since I got this book I've been wanting to make this cake - part curiosity, part disbelief that an olive oil cake would taste good. Well, Nick Malgieri scores again with a tender-crumbed, orange scented cake that will now be my second favorite cake, next to the lemon cake I love to make. It's a real pleasure to have consistently delicious results from his recipes.
Because his recipe made two cakes, and I needed only one for Mr. B's birthday, I cut the recipe in half. This made a perfect 8" cake, and I served it plain, with fruit, and/or sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. Frosting would be too rich on this cake, so I'm glad I didn't give in to the urge. The one thing to remember is to NOT use extra-virgin olive oil, but light, or plain olive oil. This has a delicate flavor of oranges, and the only possible change I would make would be to add almond extract; just a tiny bit.
From The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease an 8" cake pan and line the bottom with a parchment disc. ( I didn't do this, but it was a little hard to get out of the pan)
1-2 large navel oranges
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup olive oil, or light olive oil
3/4 c. milk or soymilk
1 1/2 cups King Arthur flour
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
pinch of salt
Microplane or grate the zest from the oranges right into the mixer bowl.
Add the eggs to the zest and mix.
Add half the sugar to the eggs and mix well.
Add the olive oil and mix, then add the milk, mixing til creamy.
Place the rest of the sugar, the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and mix with fork. Slowly add the flour mixture to the olive oil mixture in three parts. I added a bit more flour because the mixture looked too soupy to me - maybe 2 T., but wait and see before you add more.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and place in oven. Bake for 50 minutes.
While the cake is baking, cut the peel and pith ( the white bitter part) off the oranges. Slice the oranges into sections, and remove any membrane you see. Place in a bowl and set aside.
When cake is fairly firm to touch, remove to cooling rack. let cool about 15-20 minutes.
Run a knife around the pan edge and carefully unmold it, removing the parchment bottom.
Serve with sectioned oranges and/or a dusting of confectioner's sugar.
I hope you'll enjoy this cake as much as I have!