Dario's Olive Oil Cake
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
This recipe is, more or less, the way it was printed in the Los Angeles Times. It makes 2 cakes, and Nancy's still refining the recipe. I thought it was delicious: although it was a bit crumbly the first day, it was better the second, and by the third day it was so absolutely irresistible I could have eaten the whole cake by myself.
1 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup rum
3 extra-large eggs
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 scant tablespoon, baking powder
3 1/2 cups cake flour
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish
1. Bring the raisins and rum to a simmer in a small saucepan, then immediately remove from the heat. Let stand at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 2 (10-inch) angel food cake pans by generously spraying with cooking spray and dusting with flour.
3. Halve the whole oranges through the stem and slice into one-fourth-inch thick sections. Remove any seeds and chop into fairly fine pieces.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the eggs, 1¼ cups of the sugar and the leavening over medium high speed until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. With mixer on medium speed, slowly add olive oil in a slow, steady stream down the side of the bowl until emulsified. Turn the mixer back down to low and add the flour and soaked raisins (with any remaining liquid) alternately in 3 batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter should be thick.
6. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a rubber spatula, fold chopped oranges into mixture. Set the batter aside for 10 minutes, then distribute evenly between the prepared pans.
7. Sprinkle the pinenuts and the remaining one-half cup sugar over the cakes, then take the rosemary, pinch off little sprigs and stick them carelessly into the cake.
8. Bake the cakes for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake, rotating the cakes every 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, an additional 30 to 35 minutes.
9. Allow the cake to cool on a rack, in the pan, for about 15 minutes. Then run a knife around the inside of the pan and carefully invert it over a large plate to release the cake. Carefully turn it over and transfer it to a large serving plate.