I really slaved over this recipe in an attempt to make this cake sit up in the middle. I mean, I made it multiple times, each time with a different method or ingredient, and I couldn’t make it happen. But regardless of whether it rises in the center or not, this cake has the most beautiful, subtle flavors that I had to share it. It’s lightly spiced with a lovely aromatic flavor from the olive oil. The oils from the orange zest give everything a nice jolt, and it evokes a sort of delicious nostalgia. I’ll continue working on my method. It worked this morning when I made it until after I removed the cake from the oven and it fell. That’s the fun of cooking, though. Learning from my mistakes, and even maybe accepting a mistake, as more of a happy accident. Who says a cake has to sit up in the center? Maybe this one is better how it is.
After all, I worked on my chicken curry recipe over the course of a year, and it evolved over and over again until it became what it is today. Things take time to perfect.
Start with some really good oranges. Use a zester or a cheese grater to get all the aromatic zest.
Notice my sad little one whisk mixer? It broke after cake one, so I had to make do with one whisk.
The olive oil gives it such a great flavor! I love this cake!
See the full recipe below. Thanks for reading!
CHRISTMAS ORANGE AND OLIVE OIL CAKE
makes 1 loaf
1 tsp shortening
1 tsp flour
zest of 3 oranges
4 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a standard bread loaf pan with shortening and lightly dust with the tsp flour.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix the egg yolk and sugar with an electric mixer. In another medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cup of flour, baking powder, salt, cloves and cinnamon. Stir in the orange zest. Beat the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture until combined. Add the olive oil to the batter and beat again. The mixture may be slightly gummy, but don’t fret! Fold in the egg whites, gently. The whites will not combine easily with the other mixture, but this is all normal. Do not over-mix. Pour mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center doesn’t jiggle and a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool slightly before removing from the pan.