This past weekend I was back in CT with (most of – we missed you Oop!) my fam for the wedding reception of one of our nearest and dearest. We have known the family for more than 30 years, when the moms met on the Guilford Green because their similarly aged children were being similarly age-appropriately annoying, I think. They have a beautiful house on gorgeous property just one town over from where I grew up, so we all, except for the littlest, all the way out there in Denver, converged on the homestead for the weekend. It was really lovely. The party was gorgeous, the food was delicious and the dancing was most excellent. The fam represented on the dance floor, it was a very impressive performance, actually. They can really cut a rug. It was really lovely to be home.
A couple months ago, the bride asked if I would be willing to make an olive oil cake for the reception. The menu was tapas and paella, and it fit nicely, plus they are particularly fond of them. I said I would love to. I was thrilled to be able to do something for them, and I figured it definitely had to be easier than the fondant craziness I have made for other weddings. I tested a couple of options, this one was really delicious, but I wasn’t sure how it would work in larger format. So I found another one and it is a winner. It is really great, and even better, it is a dream to put together.
Olive Oil Cake sounds a little confusing perhaps. Like maybe it’s savory instead of sweet, or a side dish like cornbread, rather than dessert. It looks like cornbread too, so that doesn’t help clarify things. But make no mistake, this is definitely cake. It’s sweet – quite sweet, actually. It doesn’t need any kind of glaze or frosting, though I could probably get behind a nice glaze. It’s dense, but not heavy. It’s really moist, but not at all greasy, and the olive oil gives the edges a really nice crispness. It has a really great olive oil flavor. It is a perfect dessert, but isn’t too sweet for breakfast (I know, cuz I tried it) or for a tea time snack. Best of all, it comes together like a dream and there is a really good chance you have everything right in your kitchen already. It is so very easy. Two bowls, some measuring cups and spoons and a whisk. No electricity needed. Also, ALSO, it multiplied really easily and well with no negative effects. Delightful! (It calls for a 10″ round pan. For a 16″ square pan, I multiplied times three and it was just right. A 16″ pan cut in wedding cake slices easily served the 80 guests. I had made two. Luckily I think it is going to freeze really well.)
Basically, if I haven’t been clear, MAKE THIS. Fo realz. It is perfect. For a party or for brunch or for a shower or for your office or just because you’re bored.
Just make it.
Today, on THIS day, SCOTUS, I am happy and proud and thankful. Love Is Love. Keep Calm and Marry On.
Aaron Hernandez, you are the worst. Tim Tebow, how good are you at catching stuff?
It’s the summer, which means 4th of the July, which means the best holiday ever. Hot weather? Check. Lots of outdoor picnic foods? Check. Beer? Check. FIREWORKS? Yesssssssssss.
Still reading Strong Poison. I have not had lots of time for reading.
Olive Oil Cake (makes one 10″ cake)
From Food & Wine
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup olive oil (I used extra-virgin, the Whole Foods brand)
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
zest of one orange
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10″ cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and kosher salt. In a second bowl, whisk together olive oil, milk, eggs, Grand Marnier and orange zest. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour, until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar if you want. Or don’t! Serve with your choice of accoutrements, whipped cream, sweetened mascarpone, berries, ice cream. Enjoy!