I don’t often make regular-sized cakes. It is well-documented here that I prefer to make cupcakes, muffins, or other miniature-sized desserts. I find them to be more portable and, as a result, easier to serve at social gatherings. Also, I love how cute they look and that they come out of the oven in individually-sized portions. However, I decided to make a “proper” cake when I ran across this recipe since I had featured olive oil muffins not that long ago. So why did I post a picture of muffins at the top of this post, you ask? Where’s the cake? Well, read on…
The cake batter came together fairly easily. I mixed the eggs and sugar first and then added the dry and remaining wet ingredients, in alternating turns, untIl just combined. I filled my 8-inch round cake pan with the cake batter and had enough left over to fill 5 muffin cups. Pretty soon, the incredible fragrance of rosemary and oranges wafted through my kitchen as my cake and muffins began to bake. Goodness, I would make this cake again just for that heavenly aroma!
Soon the cake was done and cooled and ready to be transferred to my serving platter, but the transfer did not go so well. In fact, it was disaster! The cake cracked and broke apart upon inverting it onto the platter. I scooped it all up and put it back in the cake pan. Pretty, huh?
NOT!! As I tore off a piece to taste the mess, shaking my head in utter disbelief, I was struck with the most amazing flavor. This cake tastes awesome!! My tastebuds were confused, but in a good way, as the cake was both sweet and savory – swavory!! Beneath the nicely-browned crust was a moist, yet light and spongy cake! The rosemary flavor was beautifully pronounced, but not overpowering. It contrasted nicely with the brightness of the orange flavor. The muffins were even better! They were equally as moist, but even lighter and airier than the cake.
So, while my proper cake wasn’t pretty, it was still very good! At least I had these muffins made from the leftover batter for my “beauty” shots!
Rosemary Orange Olive Oil Cakes or Muffins
Yields 1 loaf or 1 8-inch cake, or 24 muffins
butter for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
zest of 2 oranges
juice from 2 oranges (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup olive oil (I used ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil and ¼ cup blood orange olive oil)
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
powdered sugar, for garnish
orange slices, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 10-inch loaf pan, 8-inch round cake pan and place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom, or place paper liners in two 12-cup muffin tins.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale.
Then, add the dry ingredients and other liquid ingredients into the egg/sugar mixture, in three turns, alternating between dry and wet ingredients. After each addition, mix just until the ingredients are combined.
First, add one-third of the flour mixture and mix just until combined.
Next, add the orange juice, and half of the remaining flour mixture and mix to combine.
Add the milk and the remaining flour mixture and mix to combine.
Add the olive oil, chopped rosemary and orange zest.
Stir briefly and our the batter into the prepared pan and bake until firm to the touch and nicely browned, about 40 minutes for loaf and cake, and about 20 minutes for muffins.
Garnish as desired, and serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from the Cooking Channel.
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