Thursday, June 30, 2011

Olive-Oil Cake with Candied Orange

I didn’t find too many recipes in the June issue of Bon Appétit that I was excited to try. I don’t know if Gwyneth* being on the cover threw me off or what. Don’t get me wrong, Gwyneth is wonderful and beautiful, but I just don’t think she belongs on the cover of a food magazine. In my opinion food magazines should be covered in gorgeous pictures of food that make your mouth water. Seeing skinny Gwyneth holding a tiny bowl of pasta did not inspire me to run to the kitchen to try new recipes!

But as I flipped through, this recipe for Olive-Oil Cake with Candied Orange really stood out to me. I made it for my parents to celebrate both their birthdays and Father’s Day.

*And as a side note after I read the letter from the editor I thought it was kind of cool BA took a risk and did something different and I have heard from friends Gwyneth’s new cookbook is great, and I will give her props for some of her published recipes. I can’t argue that Grilled Halibut with Mango-Avocado Salsa doesn’t sound good and I do intend to try it.

But back to the Olive-Oil cake. It was striking. It was delicious. The batter tasted really good and I will be making this again!

Olive-Oil Cake with Candied Orange
Bon Appetit
12 servings


candied orange and syrup
• 1 cup sugar
• 3/4 cup orange blossom honey
• 3 tablespoons green cardamom pods, crushed (I used ground cardamom)
• 1 small orange, thinly sliced (I used 3 oranges but from BA’s photo, it looks like they cut their orange slices a lot thinner than I did!)

• 1/2 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup semolina flour (pasta flour)
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 cup sugar, divided
• 3 large eggs, separated
• 2/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Chopped unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted

special equipment
9"-diameter springform pan

ingredient info
Semolina flour (pasta flour) is available at better supermarkets and at Italian markets.

candied orange and syrup
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring sugar, honey, cardamom, and 3 cups water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add orange slices. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, turning orange slices occasionally, until tender and syrup is reduced to 3 ¼ cups, about 40 minutes. Arrange orange slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet; remove cardamom pods and seeds. Strain syrup. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover syrup and orange slices separately; chill. Return orange slices to room temperature and rewarm syrup slightly before using.

• Preheat oven to 350°. Brush pan with oil. Whisk both flours and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup oil in a large bowl for 1 minute. Beat in yolks, then flour mixture. Beat in yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar until firm peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter just to blend in 2 additions. Transfer to prepared pan; smooth top.

• Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Pierce hot cake all over with a metal skewer. Slowly drizzle 3/4 cup warm syrup all over. When syrup is absorbed, slowly pour 3/4 cup more syrup over. Reserve remaining syrup for serving. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack. Run a thin knife around edge of pan to release cake. Remove pan sides. Arrange candied orange slices over. Sprinkle pistachios over. Cut into wedges and serve drizzled with more syrup.

Update: Got a little shout-out from BA for this post


  1. I think dessert should only involve chocolate but this sure does look beautiful.

  2. Yum! Beautiful! I agree with you on the Gwyneth issue. Although, many of her recipes sound pretty good. Also, I am still mourning the loss of Gourmet magazine. I love all these wonderful blogs, but nothing replaces the feeling of flipping through an actual printed magazine! So- if they have to use celebrities to sell more magazines- so be it.

  3. I'm with Megan on this one. I kinda want to frame it instead of eat it. I do suddenly have a hankering for a juicy orange, however!

  4. This looks interesting, and something I usually wouldn't be drawn to, but I'm curious to give it a try. Your Gwyneth comment made me laugh! I agree, doesn't make me want to rush into my kitchen and whip up a delicious, calorie laden meal!

  5. I agree with the chocolate comments and there is an easy solution. Skip the oranges and spread a chocolate ganache over the cake! BOOM!

  6. Yum! That sounds and looks delicious!