You will adore the richness of this olive oil cake—the delicate savory undertones pair so elegantly with the herbaceous rosemary and zesty citrus. Olive oil cakes are so moist which renders them appropriate for rainbow layer cakes, sturdy for decorating, and excellent for freezing. Or simply, just a dusting of powdered sugar and you’re good to go!
Top it with a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar using a pattern or paper doily to make it more festive—I used two star-shaped cookie cutters. It’s best to shake on your design just before serving as the cake is very moist and the confectioners’ sugar will melt into it. If desired, serve with a dollop of good French vanilla ice cream to take it over the top.
Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
Add the sugar, orange zest, and rosemary to a bowl and, using your fingertips, rub everything together until the sugar is fragrant and damp. Add the eggs and whisk until pale and thick. Beat in the yogurt and orange juice, then gradually whisk in the olive oil.
Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl until aerated. Slowly pour in the wet ingredients and, using a large spoon or spatula, gently fold everything together until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.
Bake for 45-50 minutes (ours took a total of 60), until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack to cool completely.
When cool and ready to eat, dust with confectioners’ sugar.
According to Milk Street, good olive oil is the secret to this rich, moist chocolate cake. Chocolate and olive oil might seem an unlikely pair, but in the Mediterranean, they are soul mates. And while the combination shows up in numerous desserts—from cookies to gelato—nowhere is this affinity more apparent than in the deliciously moist olive oil-based chocolate cakes made across Spain, Italy and Greece.
Your mouth watering yet? “Of all the ingredients that go into a cake, fat is one of the most important. Fat coats flour, which limits gluten formation to help cakes bake up fluffy, not chewy. Oil is particularly good at this, creating a plusher mouthfeel and softer crumb than butter because it is liquid at room temperature. Butter solidifies as it cools, resulting in a tougher texture.” So there you have it!
Double down by using both bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder. Then enhance those flavors even further with two of chocolate’s other surprising bedfellows: espresso and lemon. Use espresso powder to amplify chocolate, as its roasty depth underscores the chocolate’s pleasant astringency. And lemon juice balances both with a shot of citrusy brightness.
Please don’t overbake the cake. Be sure to test it by inserting a toothpick into the center; it should come out with a few moist crumbs attached, as if baking brownies. Don’t be alarmed when the center of the cake deflates as it cools; this is normal. We brought it to a party and the guests gushed, giving it rave reviews. So friggin’ fudge-alicious that we made it a few weeks later for another party!
1/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed, plus more to serve (optional)
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 cup white sugar, divided
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Mist a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a medium saucepan over medium, bring about 1 inch of water to a simmer. Put the chocolate in a heatproof large bowl and set the bowl on top of the saucepan; be sure the bottom does not touch the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl from the pan. Add the oil, cocoa, espresso powder and 107 grams (½ cup) sugar; whisk until well combined. Add the egg yolks and lemon juice; whisk until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and gently whisk until fully incorporated.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the egg whites on medium-high until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining 107 grams (½ cup) of the sugar, then beat until the whites hold soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. Add about one-third of the whipped whites to the yolk-chocolate mixture and fold with a silicone spatula to lighten and loosen the base. Scrape in the remaining whites and gently fold in until well combined and no white streaks remain; the batter will be light and airy.
Gently pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake until well risen, the surface is crusty and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes; do not overbake.
Set the pan on a wire rack and immediately run a narrow-bladed knife around the edge of the cake to loosen the sides. Cool in the pan for at least 1 hour before serving; the cake will deflate as it cools. When ready to serve, remove the pan sides and, if desired, dust with cocoa.
Lots of grape and/or cherry tomatoes? A great way to use them up before they go bad is to roast them with garlic and olive oil. All you need are tomatoes, olive oil and garlic cloves. However, we happen to have some organic garlic scapes on hand and decided to chop them up and add to the mix. Jammy describes the way these tomatoes collapse, thicken and sweeten when they’re roasted in the oven.
While exact measurements don’t make much of a difference, I sliced up just over a pound of multi-colored grape tomatoes, peeled and smashed about a head of garlic cloves, and chopped 6 garlic scapes. Then arranged in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, tossed with about 1/4 cup of good olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The pan went into a preheated 325° oven for 30 minutes, then tossed everything with a spatula and spread back into an even layer. After another 30 minutes in the oven, the pan was removed.
Let cool completely. You can store in an airtight container for up to five days in the refrigerator, or use immediately as a spread on crusty bread, tossed with cooked pasta, or use as an accompaniment to fish, steak or chicken.
As a special treat, we spread some on thick focaccia slices, topped with shredded parm and put under the broiler for several minutes, then topped with a chiffonade of fresh basil from our garden. In a word, divine!