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Friday, March 7, 2014

Olive Oil Cake

As soon as I saw this cake recipe, I felt an instinctive "yes." This is a recipe that draws you in, like a fresh cup of tea on a dreary afternoon. I know olive oil sounds unattractive in a cake, but it ensures the cake is super moist, yet has a superb crispy crust. Instead of tasting olive oil, you tasted a bright orange flavor from orange zest, orange juice, and Grand Marnier.

Even more importantly, I love the simplicity of this cake--you probably have most of these ingredients on hand already. Honestly, the most difficult step is grating the orange for orange zest (more instructions here). After that, it is a pretty simple dump, mix, and bake recipe. 

This weekend, invite some old friends over for tea. You know, the ones you always promise to see, but never actually do. Bake this cake, ideally right before they come over, so your house has a wonderfully sweet orange smell before they arrive. Brew a pot of tea, devour this cake, and enjoy the lovely afternoon catching up with friends. 

Olive Oil Cake

From Food 52

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch cake pan (make sure the pan is at least two inches deep), and cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. 
In another bowl, mix together the oil, milk, eggs, zest, orange juice, and Grand Marnier. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, until the top is golden.  A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. 
Transfer the cake to a rack, and let it cool for 30 minutes. 
Run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack, and let it cool completely.

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