When I first made Maialino's cake I loved it. This dessert gives you the satisfying taste you want from a moist, bready cake while delivering a unique crispy edge. The generous portion of extra-virgin olive oil balances sweetness in perfect harmony. Yet what I thought would make this cake pair even better with the Genius Recipes Slow-Roasted Strawberries was lemon. I changed the citrus from orange to lemon and increased the amount of zest by ½ a tablespoon. The liquor I changed from Grand Marnier to Cognac because I wanted to omit the orange flavor. For the strawberries I zested one lemon on top of the mixture and post-bake I doused them with a splash of lemon juice and some fresh lemon zest. I think the lemon makes them sing and marries the strawberries with the lemony-olive oil cake perfectly. —Jules Childes
Preheat the oven to 350o F. While the oven warms up, oil a 9-inch cake pan (I used olive oil spray) and cut out a circular piece of parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan. Make sure to use a 9-inch cake pan that is over two inches in depth so that the cake has plenty of room to rise.
In a medium bowl stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and sugar. In a large bowl whisk together the milk, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and Cognac. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients in three pours until the batter has come together.
Transfer the mixture into the 9-inch cake pan using a rubber spatula to utilize every bit of the batter. Bake the cake for 1 hour checking to see if it needs rotated half way through until it is a rich honey color and starting to have a nice golden-brown top. Let the cake cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. To make sure the edges don’t stick, take a knife around the entire cake and then turn over onto the cooling rack to cool for at least 1 hour.
Optional: serve with the Genius Slow-Roasted Strawberries on top. I added 1 tablespoon of lemon zest to the strawberries before they baked for five hours and spritzed them with lemon juice when they came out of the oven.