This cake is from Sunday Suppers at Luques, one of the most consistently delicious and reliable books I have ever used. Quite literally everything that I've made from this book has been phenomenal, although some of the recipes require quite a bit of work. (Don't try to make a four-course meal for six people with two cooks and two hours.) This cake recipe is one that *isn't* a lot of work.
The only downsides are that it requires quite a bit of olive oil, which isn't cheap, and a LOT of eggs. 9. NINE EGGS. But the cake--oh, I could eat it every day. It's extraordinarily moist, not very sweet, with a distinct but not overwhelming olive oil flavor. It's mildly savory and thus can pair with anything-- olive oil ice cream, creme fraiche, fruit, you name it. I ate it for breakfast, for snack, and for dessert, and sent some to the staff at cafe piccolo. And I've been thinking about it ever since. I'll probably make it again this week.
And it really is that gorgeous golden color all on its own!
I just realized, as I was typing out this recipe, that I made the cake wrong when I made it. Upon revealing my mistake (I put the heavy cream into the batter with the olive oil) I was instructed to make it that way for all time, because the cake was that good. It's up to you-- make it as instructed below, or fold the cream and olive oil in together.
Olive Oil Cake, from Sunday Suppers at Luques
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup semolina
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup brandy (i omitted this because i didn't have any brandy)
3 extra-large eggs
6 extra-large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream (this should be whipped and served with the cake, unless you're me. If you're me, include heavy cream with "wet ingredients".)
Preheat the oven to 375.
Brush a 9" round cake pan with olive oil.
Sift the flour and baking baking powder together and then stir in the semolina and salt. Combine 1 cup olive oil and the brandy in a small bowl.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, yolks, and sugar at a high speed until full volume. (Pale and ribbons.) Remove the bowl from the mixer and alternate folding in the dry and wet ingredients, a third at a time. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Tap the pan a few times on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
Bake about 40 minutes or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake should be golden brown and spring back when you touch the center. I used a 10" pan and the baking time was markedly less. Cool the cake on a rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the pan.