lemon olive oil cake

8:22 PM

this cake first came about in our kitchen almost a year ago. i actually can't believe it has been that long. it has stuck around ever since. it's latest appearance was at our good friday family meal. it's light, it's lemony, it's simple, and it's beautiful. i love a cake that doesn't need frosting standing beautifully on it's own. there is something about the way the top crusts and cracks that i absolutely love while the inside stays springy yet somehow dense. it is satisfying without being over induldgent it is truly a favorite around here. the way the eggs work together to create something so fabulous totally fascinates me. my favorite dishes come from simple ingredients. perhaps that is why i love this cake so much. 

lemon olive oil cake
yield: 8 servings

5 egg yolks
1/2 C sugar
3/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 T lemon juice
zest of 1 large lemon
1 C cake flour or all-purpose flour

4 egg whites
1/2 t salt
1/4 C sugar

1 1/2 T sugar, for garnish

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  lightly grease a 9" x 2 1/2" springform pan and line the bottom with parchment.

beat the yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar until thick and pale.  when lifted from the whisk, the batter should cascade in ribbons onto the surface and hold for a couple of seconds.  reduce to medium speed and drizzle in the olive oil.  combine thoroughly and then add the lemon juice and zest.  the mixture may look a bit broken.  take the bowl off the mixer, sift half the flour onto the batter and fold it in gently but thoroughly.  sift in remaining flour and fold until combined, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

beat the egg whites with salt until they are foamy and expanded in volume.  slowly add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until they hold a soft peak.  fold a third of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten the batter, then fold in remaining whites.

pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently rap the bottom on the work surface once or twice to release large air bubbles.  sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

bake until the cake is puffed and golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 - 40 minutes.  place on a wire rack to cool.  run a thin-bladed knife or metal spatula about the edge of the cake to release any areas that might be sticking to the pan.  cool 10 minutes and release the metal ring of the springform pan. cool completely.  gently invert the cake and remove the parchment. invert again onto a serving plate.

serve with fresh, lightly sweetened whipped cream and sugared plums or blackberries.

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