June 12, 2013

Olive Oil for Dessert? A Recipe for Olive Oil Cake with Cherry Topping

Click for Reciep for Olive Oil Cake with Cherry Topping
Gluten Free Olive Oil Cake with Cherry Topping

 Growing up my mother used a lot of olive oil. Pesto was one of her favorite dishes and I loved the smell and taste of the basil and olive oil together. She did use vegetable oil for some of her baking and recipes, but olive oil was always her favorite. As I got older I thought it was funny that suddenly olive oil became all the rage with foodies. I never realized that it wasn't popular since my mother loved shopping the Italian grocery stores back home and it was always a staple on our table. Now that I bake and cook for my family I have come to realize that not everyone buys the giant size of olive oil at the big box stores and uses it quicker than I am willing to admit. There are few things that compare to a simple dish with the right amount of extra virgin olive oil. Especially in the summer, it just seems natural. While many people know about cooking with olive oil, my mother introduced me to the idea of baking with it as well. It is a great substitute for butter or vegetable oil in many recipes and adds a nice buttery taste to cakes. Today I tried a new recipe for Olive Oil Cake from the July 2013 issue of Food and Wine magazine.

This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 50 minutes of total time, 20 minutes of which is active and makes 12 servings. I did make a number of significant changes to the original recipe. First since I eat gluten free I used a combination of almond meal (flour) and potato starch. I used 3/4 of a cup of potato starch and 1 cup of almond flour. I didn't have whole milk, so I substituted half and half. For the zest I used 1 lemon since I wasn't sure if my kids would be fans of a strong lemon flavor. Finally, I made a topping that the original recipe did not include. I have had frozen cherries in my freezer for a couple of months and I figured that they would be a great accompaniment to the cake. Instead of adding vanilla like the recipe I followed stated I substituted almond extract. There is something about cherries that screams almond extract to me.

Baking gluten free can oftentimes be very hit or miss, so I wasn't sure what to expect with this recipe. I was happy when it came out and it had actually risen like a regular wheat flour cake and the crust was nicely browned. My two boys really loved the cake and have already eaten half of it by the time I am writing this. This cake would be great either as written or gluten free and is a nice way to bake with olive oil.

For the recipes go to Olive Oil Cake and Cherry Topping.
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