I have been thinking about making an olive oil cake for awhile now. I had never tasted one and was intrigued by the idea of not using butter or a butter substitute for a cake (plus, I like cakes that aren't required to have frosting on top). So when I was out of butter today, Alice suggested that I bake one. I peeked into Apples for Jam (my recent go-to cookbook) at one I had been eyeing for awhile and was happy to see that I had all of the ingredients needed.
Since Alice adores miniature versions of baked goods, she wanted me to make tiny cakes. I used my mini loaf pan, which actually turned out quite nicely. Aren't they adorable?
The cakes themselves turned out to be quite yummy. Simple, not too sweet, a great orange taste, and so nice with the toasted pine nuts on the tops. Note: the recipe is made to make two 9" cakes, so feel free to half it.
Orange Juice and Olive Oil Cake with Pine Nuts: from Apples for Jam cookbook
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup olive oil (I recommend extra virgin)
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
Orange zest of 1 orange
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (the juice of about 4 oranges)
1/2 cup pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush two 8 1/2-inch springform pans (or pans of your choice- just be sure to alter the baking time) with olive oil and dust with flour. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they are firm and snowy white. Set aside (if it's hot, put them in the fridge until needed). Whip the yolks with the vanilla until they bulk up and become foamy. Whisk in the superfine and brown sugars, then add the olive oil bit by bit, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour, baking powder, orange rind, and juice, and beat well until you have a smooth batter. Gently fold in the egg whites.
Scrape out half the batter into each pan or divide into muffin tins or whatever you are using. Sprinkle each cake with pine nuts. Bake for 20 to 35 minutes, depending on what pan you are using (just be sure to check often), or until the tops are golden and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool before serving. This will keep well in a sealed container for 4 to 5 days.
Note: We discovered that this is delicious with drizzled honey! It would also be amazing with butter and berry jam.