La Brea's Little Olive Cakes w/ Rosemary
You already know that I am obsessed with olive oil cakes.
Nothing has changed.
This was the easiest version of an olive oil cake I have ever made, and really moist and fabulous.
The photos are not doing this recipe justice.
If you are familiar with Nancy Silverton, then you know about La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles.
She started out years ago baking breads and pastries, and now is a big wig in the food world.
She co-owns Mozza Restaurant (also in California) with Mario Batali, specializing in pizza and anything made with Italian cheese (hence the word "mozza", short for mozzarella).
This recipe can be found in both the Mozza Cookbook, and the La Brea Pastries Cookbook.
It says it makes 32 tea cakes.
Really? Well, that must be if you make them in mini muffin tins.
The recipe calls for using "tea cake pans" (not sure what that is actually, but I do know that I don't have them), but I imagine you can bake them in muffin tins, then you might get about 15 muffins.
I opted for baking the cakes in these fancy 6" round paper cake molds that I bought and never used.
The recipe yielded 6 small cakes, 2 servings per each little cake. If you do the math: that's 12 servings.
Once in a while I get an email from a reader who says their olive oil cake just didn't come out right.
I ask what kind of olive oil they used and the answer is "whatever I found on sale at Home Goods/TJ Maxx".
ding. wrong answer.
The secret to a great olive oil cake is really in the olive oil you use.
Some olive oils just don't taste good, like wine. Only use wine in a recipe that you would drink. Same goes for olive oil.
You don't want a grassy, strong flavored olive oil, but a good simple Italian everyday oil.
I have always said I use Colavita brand for baking, since it's mild in flavor and is not pricey, like some other Italian olive oils. (I would save the Frantoia or the $45. French bottle for salads).
The recipe calls for an orange, but if you don't have one, go ahead and use a lemon.
It's all good.
Slice these little cakes into quarters (or eat a whole one yourself!).
The restaurant serves these w/ olive oil gelato.
Where can I get some of that???
These would be great for brunch, and they are excellent served warm.
Little Olive Oil Cakes w/ Rosemary (adapted from Mozza cookbook): (original recipe says it makes 32 tea cakes.....I made six 6" round cakes)
2 tbsp of fresh rosemary needles, chopped
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups + 2 tbsp unbleached pastry flour (I used regular all purpose flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 - 1 1/2 cups of olive oil (*see my notes at the bottom)
1 1/2 cups whole milk (I snuck in half & half, cause I had it!!)
zest of a whole orange or lemon
3 large eggs
It's pretty simple.
Just whisk the dry ingredients together, then beat in the wet ingredients.
Add the chopped rosemary and orange zest.
The original recipe wants you to preheat the tea cake pan first (like pop-overs), but I did not bother.
I just filled my special non-stick paper liners with the batter.
Fill to the brim.
For small cakes or muffins, bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed and golden in a 350F oven.
We LOVED these about an hour after baking, while still slightly warm.
I bet with the olive oil gelato these would be ridiculous, but I'm not going there.
* Follow Up: I made these cakes again, this time using jumbo disposable (Reynolds) muffin tins. It made 10 extra large muffins. ** I also decreased the olive oil from 1.5 cups (as the original recipe states), to 1 cup, and the cakes were still super moist.