Monday, December 3, 2012
I would say I go thru about a liter of olive oil every 2 weeks.
Between making eggs in the morning (I use olive oil, not butter in the pan), cooking at night, drizzling on my vegetables for roasting and my baking olive oil cakes, you can see why olive oil is always on my shopping list.
Many readers ask what kind of olive oil I use in my daily cooking.
I have always used Colavita extra virgin olive oil from Italy.
Michael Colameco and Lidia Bastianich both use this brand for their daily cooking and that is how I got hooked, seeing it in their kitchens on their tv shows. Plus it's affordable, because GOOD olive oil can be very pricey.
When I am making a salad, I use a Sicilian olive oil, however at $26. a bottle, it is more expensive than a decent bottle of wine. I always keep it for special meals, but it's too grassy and nutty to use in a cake and too precious to use in my daily cooking.
Why am I telling you about olive oil?
Because Colavita noticed that I have been using their oil in my recipes for the last 5 years, and reached out to me!
They have a bunch of new products, a nice California olive oil; a beautiful fruity Argentinian olive oil; and a special select "reserve" highest quality Italian olive oil, more for dipping breads and drizzling as a finishing oil.
I made this FANTASTIC olive oil cake from Lottie & Doof's site, and my friend Ciao Chow Linda was kind enough to convert the metric to US measurements for us.
In this recipe, you can use any fruit you like. Some people used fresh figs, however, since it's December and there are no fresh figs in site, I used dried figs which was an excellent choice (for me anyway!).
I used both the zest of a clementine and a lemon to yield a gorgeous cake, super moist with a beautiful crumb.
I am always in search of the best olive oil cakes, and this is in the top 5 for sure.
Lemon Fig Olive Oil Cake (adapted from Lottie & Doof, and Ciao Chow Linda):
200 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)
zest of 2 lemons (I used the zest of a clementine and 1 lemon)
100 grams melted butter (I used a stick of butter)
200 grams mild olive oil (1 cup of Colavita extra virgin olive oil)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
250 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
about 1 cup fruit (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches- whatever is in season!)
(I cut dried mission figs in quarters)
confectioner's sugar for the top
Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Butter and line the bottom of a 9″ cake pan with parchment paper.
Combine lemon zest and sugar in a bowl, rub zest into the sugar to release essential oils—set aside. Combine melted butter, olive oil and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Sift together flour and baking powder.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine eggs, sugar mixture and salt. Beat at high speed until very pale yellow in color and has about doubled in volume. You are looking for the batter to hold a “ribbon”. With mixer still running slowly add oil mixture to egg mixture. You are slowly emulsifying the oil into the egg mixture, like making mayonnaise. If you do this properly the mixture will not break.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixture and fold in the dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix.
Pour about 2/3 of batter into bottom of the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle whatever fruit you are using on top.
Cover with remaining batter and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the cake is set. You can use a toothpick to test, it should come out clean.
Once the cake is cooled, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.
This cake was even delicious warm!
* Colavita wanted to offer my readers a 25% discount on any products in their online store, so I am passing this gift on to you before the holidays. They have nice gift boxes, and good quality Italian products, they own Perugina chocolates, so you can get those amazing Baci candies too!
Check out the Colavita online store and to receive the 25% discount, put in the code SNACKS25 when you are checking out.