One of my favorite things to do is experimenting with recipes, so when I read about Food52's Off Roading Recipe challenge, I signed up right away. Since I love to bake, I chose Maialino's Olive oil cake. I was initially a bit daunted to make changes in a genius recipe, but am always up for a challenge! After reading the recipe and many of the glowing reviews, I came up with a plan. For some added texture, I decided to add cornmeal in place of some of the flour. To give the cornmeal a little boost, I upped the baking powder to 1 teaspoon. Because they are one of my favorite citrus fruits, I substituted Meyer lemons for the orange zest and juice. I didn't have Grand Marnier or anything like it on hand, so I used white wine instead. Several reviewers commented that the taste of the Grand Marnier was a bit lost, so I wasn't worried about the wine. For one more flavor note, I added some almond extract which pairs well with lemon. I was very pleased with the result of my newly revised Olive Oil cake! The cake is beautifully moist, with a bit of texture from the cornmeal. The sweet citrus scent of Meyer lemon shines through and is complemented by just a hint of almond extract. —Gretchen
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 9" cake pan with a round of parchment paper and spray with non stick spray.
In a bowl whisk the dry ingredients- flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda and powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients- olive oil, milk, eggs, lemon juice and zest, wine and almond extract. Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for up to an hour until cake is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Check cake after 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Loosen edges of cake by running a knife around the sides of pan, then invert cake onto rack to cool completely.