Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Olive Oil Cake

As far as cake is concerned, olive oil cake is the absolute chicest of them all. 

I know you aren't used to hearing the word "cake" and "chic" in the same sentence, but trust me, this cake is as classy and effortlessly stylish as they get. The flavors are modern and timeless at the same time; bold extra virgin olive oil, bright fresh citrus notes, and a lightness that can only come from the simple folding of perfectly whipped egg whites into your batter. 

Use the best quality extra virgin olive oil that you can find. I used cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil made by my parents at their small vineyard estate in Northern California which made for a fruitier, more pronounced olive-oil flavor. If you aren't a fan of that flavor, simply use a milder regular (non-virgin) olive oil. 

 There are several ways to serve it. In this case I took some kumquats and cooked them down in sugar and water to make a beautiful syrup and compote that I brushed and topped each individual cake with. 

I love baking cakes in individual portions when the recipe permits and this one is ideal for it! To make the perfect little domed cakelets I baked the batter in mini latte bowls ($20 for 8, Anthropologie)

When it came time to serve them I cut them in half like a shortcake and filled them with fresh-cut strawberries and chantilly cream. They can, of course, be served alone or with a scoop of ice cream or sorbet as well. 

Olive Oil Cake 
makes 6 mini cakes

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
1 large lemon, juiced & zested
1 cup AP Flour 
5 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar 
1/2 tsp kosher salt
pam baking spray 

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Spray mini latte bowls with pam baking spray and place on a lined sheet tray
3.Whisk together lemon zest and flour. 
4. In another bowl, use an electric mixer or whisk to beat together yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until pale and thick. (2-3 minutes). Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil and lemon juice, until just combined.  Next, stir in flour mixture until just combined as well. 
5. In another bowl, whip egg whites with 1/2 tsp kosher salt at high speed until super foamy and then slowly add the last 1/4 cup of sugar slowly until soft peaks start to form (about 2-3 minutes). 
6. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter initially and then fold in the remaining whites gently until combined. 
7. Pour batter into mini latte bowls and gently knock them against the kitchen counter to release any trapped air bubbled in the batter. Bake for about 35 minutes or until puffed up and golden ad a wooden pick comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before inverting cakes. 
8. Brush with warm kumquat syrup (optional). Let Stand until ready to serve. 
9. Enjoy!

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