Cooking with Alison

Orange Scented Olive Oil Cake Recipe

In Cakes, Desserts on April 15, 2014 at am

This is another great recipe from the cookbook, The Modern Baker.  At first, I was doubtful that this cake would be flavourful enough for my taste, but I was very pleasantly surprised.  This sophisticated, citrusy cake is a great finish to a heavy meal.  I made it for Thanksgiving dinner.  Everyone that tried it really enjoyed it.  Even John’s mom, who isn’t normally a fan of cake, liked it.  I love that this cake is moist, easy to make, and relatively healthy since it uses olive oil as opposed to butter or vegetable oil.  Also, I love the crunchy and slightly sticky crust.  This is served as a one-layer cake, but the recipe makes two layers, so you can make these in advance and freeze them for future dinner parties.

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Orange Scented Olive Oil Cake Recipe

makes 2 one-layer cakes; adapted slightly from Nick Malgieri’s cookbook, The Modern Baker

3 large navel oranges

3 large eggs

2 1/2 cups granulated white sugar

1 1/2 cups olive oil  (Note:  I used Bertolli’s extra light tasting olive oil.)

1 1/2 cups milk  (Note:  Whole milk is preferred, but skim milk works too.)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour  (Note:  Use a spoon to spoon flour into your measuring cup and then level it off.)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher sea salt

vegetable oil cooking spray

icing sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans using vegetable oil cooking spray.  Trace the bottoms of one of the round cake pans onto two sheets of parchment paper.  Cut out the circles and line the bottoms of the cake pans with the parchment paper circles.  Set aside.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Use a vegetable peeler to peel all of the zest off of the oranges.  Be sure to leave the white pith behind, as this is bitter.  Place the orange zest and sugar into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Pulse until all of the orange zest is finely grated and combined well with the sugar.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and zest on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes.  Then with the motor running on the lowest speed, gradually add the oil, followed by the milk.  Once the batter is well combined, add the dry ingredients in three separate batches, beating on the lowest speed until incorporated between additions.  Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared cake pans.  Bake the cakes until the edges are crispy, the cake has risen, the top is golden brown, and the centre of the cake is set and firm when pressed lightly with a finger, about 50 minutes.  Rotate the pans halfway through baking time.

Meanwhile, use a sharp knife to cut the top and bottom ends off of the oranges, so that it stands up on the cutting board.  Then use the knife to cut off all of the remaining skin and pith.  Cut out the orange slices, approximately 1/3 inch thick, and place them covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Once the cakes are done baking, transfer them to a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes.  Flip them out of the pans onto a large plate and then flip them back right side up and allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

If desired, you could sprinkle a very light dusting of icing sugar over the top of the cake.  Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the sliced oranges.  If you would like to place the orange slices on the top of the cake, be sure to wait until just prior to serving.  You could also add a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  These cakes are best served the day they were baked.  These cakes are freezer friendly and can be frozen for up to 1 month.  Simply wrap them tightly in two layers of syran wrap.  Defrost to room temperature prior to serving.

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