Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Olive Oil Cake

I subscribe to the food blog Orangette, which I suppose is how I originally heard about Molly Wizenberg's food memoir, A Homemade Life.  I realize I'm plugging a book two times in less than a week, but I'm still reading and it's still just as good.

Before I even opened my copy of the book though, I happened to receive an Orangette post on olive oil cake, which Molly terms Marmalade Cake. The key ingredients? Oranges, toasted, ground almonds, and olive oil.  I was immediately sucked in and knew I would be making this cake right away.

What really got me is the step where you simmer an orange (and lemon if you want), remove from heat and let cool, and then throw the whole thing (minus seeds) into a food processor to make a paste.  How fun. The only problem was that perhaps I didn't cook my fruit long enough because while it was paste-like, it was a bit too chunky. Thus, the mortar and pestle in my photos, which helped grind the mix into a finer paste.

Toasting and grinding the almonds yourself (rather than buying already roasted nuts) is really worth the extra step.  It imparts the most glorious flavor and suits the citrus fruit to a T.

The best news is that the cake is an unequivocal success  It's light, extremely moist, and contains tiny bits of nuts and citrus.  Yum.  My only complaint is that I found it a tad too sweet.  Instead of the recipe's 1.5 cups sugar, next time I will try cutting it back to a 2/3 or perhaps 3/4 cup.  But if you like your cake on the sweet side (which I do normally), keep it as is.  Also, the recipe instructions call for a 9-inch spring form pan.  Mine is 10 inches, but as you can see it did the job beautifully.

Please click here for the full recipe.


  1. I checked that book out from the library! I LOVE IT! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Hi Shannon. So glad you like it! On another note...I can't believe how big your little guy is getting. He's a cutie.