Today is the one-year anniversary of cb&j and i believe that this calls for cake, and not just any cake, after all it is a special occasion. The kind of cake I want is light, refreshing and features a very uncommon ingredient in baking – olive oil.
I was first introduced to olive oil cake during a job interview. One of the questions we asked candidates was whether they enjoyed cooking, and would they participate in potlucks. It was fun and always lightened up the room. People love food, and like talking about food, so this question made everyone comfortable. When my soon-to-be friend, Alana, said that she loved to bake, and had been eye-balling an olive oil cake recipe, I immediately thought three things: (1)she is a “keeper”, (2) isn’t baking with olive oil taboo? and (3) I must have this cake.
I kept hoping she would show up to work, cake in hand, so I could taste this unique dessert, but she didn’t. Instead she brought vanilla bean pound cake and blueberry coffee cake – but no olive oil cake. I had almost forgotten about it until the anniversary of this blog. I was determined to give you another wonderful cupcake recipe, and was losing sleep over what to do – until that cake popped into my head again.
So the search for the perfect recipe began. My requirements were simple. The ingredient list needed to be short and needed to incorporate egg whites. The flavor of the oil would need to shine, but the egg whites would be necessary in keeping the dish light. Plus, I wanted to use lemons in the frosting – or in this case – a glaze, so I didn’t want anything that would combat with the flavor of the oil and the lemons.
I found exactly what I was looking for at epicurious I made a couple of adjustments – one being making cupcakes rather than cake. Baking this recipe will make your home smell amazing, and the flavors will have you craving more.
Olive Oil Cupcakes with a Lemon Glaze
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine April, 2006
• 3/4 cup olive oil (extra-virgin if desired), plus additional for greasing pan
• Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
• 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
• 5 large eggs, separated
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put cupcake holders/papers in your regular or mini-sized muffin pan. If you don’t use cupcake liners then grease the pan will a little olive oil.
2. Zest the lemon then juice it in a separate bowl and set aside.
3. Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil (3/4 cup) and lemon zest, beating until just combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture (do not beat) until just combined.
4. Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with 1/2 teaspoon salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.
5. Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
6. Transfer batter to muffin pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cupcakes to room temperature, about 1 hour.
7. Mix the lemon juice with the powdered sugar and whisk until it’s smooth. If you think it’s too thin or runny go ahead and add more powdered sugar until you have the right consistency. Drizzle a spoonful on each cupcake and enjoy!