As you might have read here, I've decided to dedicate this space to recipes that require a little more time and effort. And, to start it all off….. (drum roll, please)….
Lemon olive oil cake!
I know, it's a picture of a cake taken on a white chair. But it was raining and my kitchen was so dark!
I'll admit that lemon olive oil cake doesn't sound all that complicated, and it really isn't. I decided to include it here because, unlike those classic one-bowl mix-and-bake cakes, you actually have to use an electric mixer to beat the eggs (both whites and yolks separately) into fluffy oblivion, which
a) involves more dishes
b) takes more time and
c) involves more dishes (3 bowls!!!)
But… since a good friend of mine was celebrating her birthday, in January no less and in one without the slightest inclination toward snow at that - nothing but rain, rain, rain - I decided to make the extra effort and bust out my electric mixer. Lucky girl, right?
And we bought her a bottle of The Duke gin. Munich dry. Even though, when you look outside, it's not.
adapted from Epicurious
3/4 cup olive oil, plus a little extra to grease the pan
1 large lemon
1 cup flour
5 large eggs, separated - reserve one egg white for another use (i.e., 5 egg yolks and 4 egg whites)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 inch spring form pan (mine was bigger, which reduced the baking time by 10 minutes)
Cut a circle out of the parchment paper about the same size as the bottom of your pan. The easiest way I've found is to set your pan on top of the parchment paper, use a pen to trace it (you know, like you used to do in kindergarten) and then cut out the circle. It should fit nicely into the bottom or your pan. It's ok if it goes up the sides a bit or ends up being a little small.
Now, grease the bottom and sides of the pan with olive oil. Lay the parchment circle in the bottom of the pan. It will stick to the oil. Grease the parchment and your ready to start.
Finely grate 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice and combine with the flour in a small bowl. Juice the lemon and set aside 1 1/2 tablespoons.
In a large bowl, beat together the yolks and 1/2 cup sugar at high speed until thick and light in color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the olive oil and lemon juice (1 1/2 tablespoons). Mix until just combined. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour until just combined. Do not use your mixer for this part!
Rinse off the beaters.
In another large bowl (whew!) beat the egg whites together with just about 1/2 teaspoon of salt until just frothy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time and keep beating at high speed until soft peaks just begin to form.
Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the batter and fold in gently. This will lighten the mixture so that it doesn't squish all of the air out of the rest of the egg whites when you add them. Once the first 3rd have been incorporated, add the rest of the egg whites and carefully fold them into the batter, too. Keep folding gently until completely incorporated. The batter will do from a rich, golden yellow to a light, lemony one.
Pour the batter into the spring form and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (check at around 40 min). Cool on a rack for 10 min. and then run a thin knife around the edge of the pan and remove the sides. Continue to cool for at least another 1.5 hours before you remove the base. Top with lemon glaze or any light frosting of your choice. I used a lemon glaze and a sprinkle of homemade lavender sugar.