Sunday, March 22, 2009

a cake that's perfect for breakfast

what do you think of when you hear about a cake made with olive oil and oranges? i think, "wow, doesn't that sound like the perfect breakfast cake?" hence the sunday morning bake-fest with my favorite baking pal, becky crocker. crocker is the perfect person to bake with since she let's me do all of the things i deem "fun." in this case, it was supreming oranges. that is, until i had done 6 of them and the cut in my hand was stinging of citrus. enter crocker to the rescue, finishing off the job. then there's mixing. i am known to have the amusement level of a small child aka enjoy whipping heavy cream until it's almost whipped cream and my arms are so tired they feel like they are going to fall off. remind me again why i don't just go buy a freaking hand mixer. enter crocker again, to the rescue.

this cake
recipe appeared in last week's nytimes dining section and uses olive oil as the fat source. oranges, orange juice and yogurt ensure its moist texture. we used mostly regular oranges instead of blood oranges since the blood ones are not so plentiful
in our respective neighborhoods. we weren't so careful about keeping our wet and dry ingredients separate until the end; becky crocker defies the laws of baking.

an alternative serving method to the recipe: serve cake warm (microwave if you have to) and top with vanilla frozen yogurt--YUMMMMMMMM...

blood orange olive oil cake
  • Butter for greasing pan
  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • small container of plain yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour (i used spelt, as per usual)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Honey-blood orange compote, for serving, optional (see note)
  • Whipped cream, for serving, optional.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Grate zest from 2 oranges and place in a bowl with sugar. Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until orange zest is evenly distributed in sugar.
  • Supreme an orange: Cut off bottom and top so fruit is exposed and orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away peel and pith, following curve of fruit with your knife. Cut orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Repeat with another orange. Break up segments with your fingers to about 1/4-inch pieces.
  • Halve remaining orange and squeeze juice into a measuring cup. You will have about 1/4 cup or so. Add buttermilk or yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs.
  • In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet ones. Switch to a spatula and fold in oil a little at a time. Fold in pieces of orange segments. Scrape batter into pan and smooth top.
  • Bake cake for about 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up. Serve with whipped cream and honey-blood orange compote, if desired.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Note: To make a honey-blood orange compote, supreme 3 more blood oranges according to directions in Step 2. Drizzle in 1 to 2 teaspoons honey. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir gently.

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