Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Olive Oil Cake


Last month when I was at Dario Cecchini's we had an amazing olive oil cake made by Simonetta; her recipe was for 4 cakes about the size of truck tires, and called for 90 eggs and 1 1/2 liters of olive oil.  So I set about trying to figure out a reasonable size to make one cake, and today with a little fiddling, I think I've got a good one. 
Keep in mind I'm working with metric measurements, Celsius temperature in the oven.....in essence flying by the seat of my pants....fortunately, I don't think you can ruin this one.  Use a golden olive oil, either the Cipolloni that they sell at Enoteca Properzio , or one from Umbria or Tuscany--one that isn't too strong in flavor.  Here goes:

Olive Oil Cake
Makes one 12 to 13-inch round

1 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
grated zest of 2 medium oranges
juice of 2 medium oranges (about 1/3 cup)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons brandy or grappa (optional) ---original recipe called for 1 liter!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and coat the inside of a 12 to 13-inch round cake pan with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.  
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, zest, juice and oil, stirring to blend.  Let stand about 10 minutes, for the zest to release some oil into the mixture.  
  3. Add the flour and baking powder, and stir until blended. 
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  
  5. Allow the cake to rest 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack and cool.  Serve the cake dusted with powdered sugar, or plain.    
I actually was serving this to friends at the enoteca and to the staff while it was still pretty hot from the oven, and it was good.  I think it will keep well, in an airtight container for a few days. 
Buon appetito from Spello!

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