Hungry Bear has been craving a tart, lemony dessert for awhile, so we made a lemon olive oil cake this past Sunday night. I love olive oil, but in a cake... hmm? I had my doubts about the cake, but Hungry Bear had it on her list of things to make, so we gave it a try. Much to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed this light, airy cake.
Depending on how prominent an olive taste you want, extra virgin or regular olive oil can be used in the recipe. We had a nice bottle of extra virgin olive oil sitting around and used it in the cake for the added fruitiness. The cake had an interesting aroma. It smelled savory to me, but tasted like a light pound cake or a denser sponge cake. I was all confused as my nose and taste buds were sending mixed messages.
Once I got over my sensory confusion, I really enjoyed the cake. On its own, the cake was very light and not too sweet. It had subtle flavors of lemon and olive oil... obviously. To keep it light, it's best served with fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream. For a richer dessert, serve it with a fruit compote and maybe a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
While it wasn't the tart dessert Hungry Bear was seeking, it was still very good and is super easy to make. Despite my initial reservations, this lemon olive oil cake is an excellent dairy free dessert and goes nicely with a spot of tea.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe
SND Note: The cake has a nice lemon flavor but is not tart. For a more prominent olive oil flavor, use an extra virgin olive oil. If you don't have cake flour, all-purpose flour can be substituted.
3/4 cup extra virgin or regular olive oil, plus additional for greasing pan
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup cake flour
5 egg yolks
4 egg whites
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1) Preheat oven to 350°F and adjust oven rack to middle position. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with oil, line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper and oil it.
2) Finely zest entire lemon and whisk zest together with flour. Halve and squeeze the lemon and reserve 3 tablespoons of juice.
3) With an electric mixer and large bowl, beat yolks and 1/2 cup sugar at high speed until thick and pale, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add 3/4 cup olive oil and lemon juice, beating until combined; mixture may appear separated. Fold in flour mixture with a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula until just combined.
4) With an electric mixer, whisk egg whites with 1/2 teaspoon salt on medium-high speed until foamy. Continue whisking and slowly add 1/4 cup sugar until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 2-3 minutes. Gently fold one third of whipped whites into yolk mixture to lighten, and then fold in remaining whites until just combined.
5) Pour batter into springform pan and release air bubbles by gently tapping pan against work surface. Evenly sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar over the top of the batter. Bake until the top is golden brown and a wooden skewer or toothpick comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Place on a rack and cool in pan for 10 minutes; run a thin knife around edge of pan and release springform. Cool cake to room temperature, remove parchment and serve with fresh berries.
[Adapted from Gourmet April 2006]
[tags]cake, lemon, olive oil, zest, egg whites, cake flour, light, easy, diary free[/tags]