Wednesday, November 26, 2008

in the kitchen: olive oil cake

I've been puttering around a few ideas for the fall menu, so I thought it would be fun to show you what I've been up to!


I'm a visual kid; most of the ideas get scribbled down so I can get an overall sense of placement (it also helps to figure out if we actually have the equipment and ingredients ready to make the dish!). The larger sheet in the back has some of the original menu; the doodle on the ticket paper is an idea based on olive oil.


A taste-memory:
One of the boys at work recreated a tasty snack he had in Italy - a thin slice of crusty sourdough, grilled, then covered with dark chocolate shavings. The toast was placed under the broiler just until the chocolate melted, then drizzled with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of crunchy sea salt. Amazing to say the least; great crunch, nice sweet/savouriness, and a pleasant bitterness, all lubed up by the fruity olive oil. Mmm.

Another taste-memory:
My dear university boyfriend, happy to share some of his British-ness (and tired of me making fun of his Marmite toasts), gifts me with my first Terry's Chocolate Orange. Yum, I'm in love!

So, what is a gal to do, but play around with the idea of the olive oil cake...and here it goes.


B likes to name the equipment; the large food processor is called Robo-Cop.


A good olive oil is a must! I'm loving these orange and mandarin infused ones right now. (I blend them with a plain, fruity oil so it the batter doesn't get too perfume-y.)

Getting the ingredients together...


Cream the oil and sugar (check out the colour, by the way, how happy!), add orange zest, then eggs, then alternate additions of flour and milk. Really easy!


The batter is very loose, and bakes up very moist and rich, almost like a pound cake.


Butter and flouring the moulds. I pour the batter a third of the way up for the individual 3-inch cakes...and into a 350 oven for about 15-17 minutes.

The moist little cakes, ready for the plate...


Olive oil citrus cake with hazelnuts, orange confit and chocolate gelato with maldon sea salt.

olive oil cake

1 1/2 cups good quality olive oil
2 1/2 cups sugar
zest of 1 orange or lemon
3 eggs

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt

1 1/2 cups milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream together olive oil, sugar and zest until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time; mix in between each addition.

In a smaller bowl, combine dry ingredients.

To the oil/sugar/egg mixture, add half the dry mix; stir, then add half the milk. Stir in the remaining dry, then rest of the milk.

Pour batter into butter and floured moulds and bake in 350 oven.

(In this case, my 3-inch mini tins took about 17 minutes - I imagine a larger cake pan, say 9-inch, would take about 30 minutes...the cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out cleanly!)



  1. Flo, your "scribbled" desserts could be a dessert picture book, they're so great! Speaking of chocolate and olive oil, though, that instantly reminds me of perhaps one of the most mind-blowing dessert experiences I've ever had. It was a small quenelle of super rich chocolate mousse in a little puddle of olive oil with sea salt sprinkled around it. I had never tasted anything like it before, and surprised furthermore as I had been dubious of the combo before trying it. Mmmmmm. I don't even remember where I had this, but I was eating dark chocolate dipped in olive oil for weeks afterwards!

  2. i miss conversing over kitchen scribbles...

    i heart you still...

    where's the benny???

  3. Ruby: mmm, that sounds addictive! I've been using that citrus olive oil everywhere - it's really good with vanilla ice cream too.

    dagger: It's been toooo long! Ooh, benny...perhaps a brunch is in order soon? :)