I’m not into fussy foods or fads. I don’t want my dinner misted by my nose or constructed in such a way that to touch it is liking destroying the Mona Lisa. I appreciate the artistry but it just isn’t me. I enjoy dishes with ingredients I can identify and that I can dig into with joy and abandon. So when I saw this recipe for another olive oil cake with simple ingredients I knew that I wanted to try it. But don’t be fooled or misled by “simple.” It also means that you need to use the best quality ingredients because there is nothing masking the taste or distracting you from the elements. Only use a really good quality fruity olive oil here and preferably one like Sciabica’s Orange or Lemon-flavored Olive Oil.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite food sites – Food52, although it really originates from the Maialino Restaurant in New York City. The Roasted Strawberries is from the forthcoming Genius Desserts Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, September 2018). The cake is so moist and fragrant that it is almost like eating a pudding and a cake. It is wonderful on its own, but the addition of the roasted strawberries and some freshly whipped cream does make it amazing. The roasted strawberries are wonderful and can be used in so many ways – on pancakes or waffles or over yogurt to name a few, and they store in the fridge for a couple of weeks. If you are new to olive oil cakes, you might also want to try the recipe for Olive Oil Cake with Orange, Pine Nuts and Rosemary. While I made the cake with orange juice, zest and Grand Marnier, I saw that readers successfully made it substituting lemon juice, zest and Limoncello for a lemony take. Either way you can’t go wrong.
Maialino’s Olive Oil Cake
Yield: One 9-inch round cake (at least 8 servings)
2 cups (250 gr.) all-purpose flour
1.75 (350 gr.) cups granulated sugar
1.5 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 package Lievito Pane Degli Angeli OR 1/2 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1.33 cups (285 gr.) fruity extra-virgin olive oil or flavored olive oil
1.25 cup (305 gr.) whole milk
3 large eggs at room temperature
Zest of two oranges
1/4 cup (60 gr.) fresh orange juice
1/4 cup (55 gr.) Grand Marnier or Cointreau
Powdered sugar (Confectioner’s Sugar) for dusting
Slow Pan Roasted Strawberries (See recipe which follows at the end of the post)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil, butter or spray a 9-inch cake pan that is at least 2-inches deep (The batter will go almost to the top so they really mean “at least 2-inches deep!”) Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray or oil that as well.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt and Lievito Pane Degli Angeli. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, milk, eggs, zest, juice and Grand Marnier. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid and whisk until just combined. Do this all by hand and do not over-whisk.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- Run a knife or thin spatula around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto the cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper and allow the cake to cool completely – about 2 hours. Re-invert the cake onto a cake stand or plate and dust with powdered sugar.
Michelle Polzine’s Slow-Roasted Strawberries
Yield: About 1.5 cups (450 gr.)
2 pounds (900 gr.) of fresh, ripe strawberries
1/2 cup (100 gr.) of granulated sugar (You can add 2 additional Tablespoons if the strawberries are not especially sweet on their own.)
- Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Rinse and hull the berries. Leave any tiny ones whole and either quarter or halve the rest so the pieces are all about the same size.
- In a non-reactive pan (I used a stoneware baking dish) that will hold all of the berries closely packed in a single layer, gently toss the strawberries with the sugar.
- Roast slowly in the oven, uncovered for 3 to 6 hours, gently moving them around occasionally with a wide spatula. Mine took 5 hours. They are done when the juices have reduced to a syrup but not darkened into caramel and the berries are jammy. They can be stored in the fridge in an airtight jar or container for up to two weeks.