Dolce Italiano: Zucchini Olive Oil Cake
Since we have established that I like to bake, here is yet another delicious, simple cake from Gina DePalma's book Dolce Italiano.
Gina is the pastry chef at Mario Batali's Babbo Ristorante, and is one of my favorite bakers. Most of her recipes use nuts, chocolate, polenta and many use olive oil. It's tough to choose which one to make.
Since I had leftover zucchini in the fridge, this was a no brainer.
There is something about using good olive oil instead of butter in cakes. I am addicted to these olive oil cakes. They are so moist and have such a wonderful consistency.
I have made Giada's Olive Oil cake, Michael Chiarello's olive oil cake and my favorite is Dorie Greenspan's Lemon Olive Oil Yogurt Cake, which I could eat everyday. I have been using Colavita extra virgin olive oil only of late, since I have been cutting back on extravagant purchases, such as $30 bottles of olive oil, which I use up in 2 weeks! Colavita is half the price of my pricey Sicilian stuff, and the results have been fabulous.
I couldn't resist adding some golden raisins to this recipe. I never did follow the rules.
I also didn't bother with the lemon crunch glaze, because the cake was good enough with just powdered sugar sprinkled on top. You don't need the extra sweetness, believe me.
This was a gorgeous, moist cake, made in a bundt pan.
Great with coffee.
And it has zucchini in it, so it's healthy, right?
Dolce Italiano's Zucchini Olive Oil Cake
1 cup (75 g) walnut pieces, toasted
2 cups (240 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
1-3/4 cup (306 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (237 mil) extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups (438 g) grated zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)
1/2 cup of raisins (optional)
confectioners sugar, for dusting (optional)
1/4 cup (59 mil) fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup (58 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (130 g) confectioners sugar
1. CAKE: Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350º F/175º C.
2. In the medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, and olive oil together on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat in the vanilla extract.
4. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined, then increase speed to medium and mix for 30 seconds.
5. Stir in the zucchini and walnut pieces until completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
7. Bake for 50 minutes. Rotate the cake halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Tester should come out clean and the cake edges should start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
8. GLAZE: Make the glaze while the cake is baking. In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice and granulated sugar, then whisk in the confectioners sugar until the glaze is smooth. Strain any lumps as necessary.
9. Remove the baked cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Place the wire rack over a piece of wax paper and invert the cake onto the rack. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze all over the hot cake. It will stick to the cake and set as the cake cools, leaving a nice crunchy surface. Allow the cake to cool completely and the glaze to dry completely. OPTIONAL: You may dust the cake with confections sugar before serving.