Monday, February 22, 2010

Olive Oil Cake (Serves 12-14)

Adapted from original recipe by Deborah Mele, Italian Food Forever (for original recipe, link from here, go to Recipes Category on the left, then look in page 2 under Desserts - Cakes & Sweet Breads for Olive Oil Cake)

Last weekend, we went on a snow tubing trip along with our friends at Tuxedo, NY as an outing for the kids. We brought food from home, and our contribution was this cake.

This is my favorite cake, and I just had several slices over the weekend. For this very reason, my wife doesn’t bake them often. It is also a family favorite when they visit us from India.

My wife obtained the original recipe by Deborah Mele (God bless her for this recipe) at way back in 2003 and has baked it over a dozen times over the years. A few changes have been made to the original recipe to suit our palates, and also based on the ingredients we have or don’t have at the time of baking. The result is a moist and rich cake with orange flavor that just melts in your mouth.

The recipe listed below is the modified version and the link on top of this post will take you to the original recipe, after a few clicks (please follow directions when you link). The original recipe uses lemon juice and flavor, whereas we used orange juice and orange zest. I say ‘we’ here since all three of us – my wife Anita, my four year old daughter Tvisha, and I – all participated in the preparation of this cake.

3 eggs

1 ½ cups milk

1 ½ cups mild tasting olive oil

2 ½ cups sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Powdered sugar to serve

Apart from using orange juice and zest, we used mild tasting olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil, and only 2 cups of sugar since we wanted the cake to have a balanced taste rather than being a little too sweet. We didn’t sprinkle the cake in the end with powdered sugar.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs and the sugar and blend well. Add the oil, milk, orange juice and zest and mix well.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this mixture to the eggs, and stir until just blended. Pour into a Bundt cake pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake for about one hour, until a pick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool and remove from the pan. Serve.

In my opinion, this cake tastes exquisite along with some perfectly brewed fresh coffee.

Health Rating: Medium

Ingredient Substitute/s: You can replace the orange with pineapple juice and minced pineapple chunks, or ripe mango pieces and mango pulp. Or simply vanilla essence with some roasted walnuts would do wonders to this cake.