April 26, 2011

Giada's Almond Citrus Olive Oil Cake

Did you know that big grocery stores are closed in Maine on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas?  This makes no sense to me.  But apparently, as a leftover "blue law" (laws that enforce Sunday as a day of rest), retail stores over 5,000 feet are to be closed on these three Christian holidays.

I thought Maine was 'Open For Business' now?  No?  Whatever. 

The end result of this law is that you get an Easter potluck full of dishes made from Colucci's, Paul's Food Center, and Rosemont Bakery.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I made this Almond Citrus Olive Oil cake because I had all the ingredients and didn't have to go to the store.  That never happens- especially not with baked items.  But the stars aligned, and the cake was good.

Does that sound like a line from Genesis?  Unintentional.

But divine cake.  Great for a potluck (unless it's a potluck where the only other dessert is a perfectly light, flaky, cool, creamy lemon icebox cake that trumps your cake).

The cake is moist, because of the olive oil with a sweet, crunchy almond powdered sugar topping.  Served with a citrus compote (or blood orange marmalade like I did), I just found out this cake is also good for breakfast.

I slightly adapted a Giada de Laurentiis recipe, to make it a bunt cake.  I read in the reviews of the recipe that when baked in a 8" cake pan, the cake overflows.  I recommend reducing the cooking time if you chose to bake in a bunt as well (I baked it for 35 minutes and it was slightly overdone, but still great).

Almond Citrus Olive Oil Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted, coarsely crumbled
Powdered sugar, for sifting

Preheat oven to 350*F. Lightly oil a bunt pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), beat sugar, eggs, and zest together until pale and fluffy.

Continue to mix while adding milk slowly until fully combined. Slowly add oil (drizzle in a thin stream) until fully combined.

Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle with chopped, toasted almonds. Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Let cake cool for 10 minutes; remove from cake pan onto a cooling rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with blood orange marmalade.