This recipe is an adaptation of Maialino's Olive Oil Cake, for Food52 Recipe Off-Roading. The original recipe reminded me of my grandmother’s cakes, which were simple affairs she would prepare from time to time at her Barcelona’s apartment. To make it a little more like my grandmother’s, I reduced the amount of sugar. I also wanted to make a gluten free version of the cake so my wife could enjoy it as well, and give it a “Tarta de Santiago” feel with the addition of almond flour. To help hold the heavier almond flour, I increased the eggs to four and reduced the amount of olive oil and milk to compensate for the extra liquid the additional egg was adding. I wanted all the flavors to come forward, so used an assertive Kalamata olive oil (Iliada Extra Virgen Olive Oil) and freshly squeezed orange juice and zest. I also swapped the Grand Marnier for Dolfi Orange Liqueur, in this case because it was what I had available at home 😊. The resulting cake was very aromatic, with tons of moisture and was quickly devoured by my teenage daughters and wife. We served it with Preservatory’s Plain ol’ Strawberry Jam; the tartness of the jam cut through the richness of the cake and the combination was simply perfect! —Esteban Sagel
8 to 12
Gluten Free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Flour)
Almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Super-fine almond flour from blanched almonds)
1 1/2 teaspoons
Kosher Salt (Diamond Crystal)
Kalamata extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons
tablespoon grated orange zest (in truth, the whole zest of a large orange)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a bowl, whisk both flours, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
In another bowl, beat at high speed the eggs with the sugar and orange zest, until the mixture is fluffy and pale (about 5 minutes). At half speed, beat the olive oil to the eggs and sugar mixture; add it on a thin stream, like you are making mayo. Do the same with the milk, orange juice and orange liqueur. The resulting mixture will be very liquid, but should still hold some of the bubbles you created at the very beginning.
Now, carefully, mix the dry ingredients with the egg mixture, in a wrapping motion, trying to avoid losing the air volume you created before. Lightly whisk to break any lumps. The batter will still be quite liquid, like pancake batter.
Pour the batter to the prepared pan, and bake between 45 to 50 minutes. The cake should be very golden and aromatic, and a tester inserted should come out clean. Transfer cake to a wire rack and let it cool for 30 minutes.
Carefully invert the cake on the rack and immediately turn again; it is very soft and the side that’s at the bottom will get grid marks. Let cool completely.
Before serving, dust lightly with powdered sugar. Serve with strawberry jam, if you like.