Orange-Glazed Olive Oil Cake with Fleur De Sel
This cake is made with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh oranges that have been cooked in a sugar syrup and pureed, rind and all. It's topped with a light orange glaze and sprinkled with fleur de sel just before serving, intensifying the rich orange flavor. The recipe is excerpted from The Perfect Finish by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark. It's a fabulous baking book with an inspiring selection of recipes and a wealth of expert tips and information. Be sure to see our review below.
- Unsalted butter for greasing the pan
- 2 navel oranges
- 2-1/3 cups sugar, divided
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
- For the orange glaze:
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
In a large pot, bring 3 quarts water to a boil. Slice the bottoms and the tops off the oranges (where the rind is the thickest) and quarter the oranges. Plunge the orange, rind and all into the water, allow the water to return to a boil, remove, and drain. Repeat the process two more times. This blanching will remove the bitterness from the orange rind.
Place the oranges in a pot filled with 1 quart fresh water and 1 cup of the sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then let simmer until the rind is softened and can be easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. At this point, the oranges can be cooled and kept in a container, in the syrup, in the fridge for up to 3 weeks before you proceed with the recipe.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch round cake pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper and set aside.
Pull the prepared oranges from the syrup with a slotted spoon and discard any remaining seeds in the cooked orange segments. Cut the oranges into chunks. Place them, rind and all in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment (discard the syrup), and pulse until the oranges form a purée. The purée will be slightly chunky and not perfectly smooth, and this is okay.
Add the eggs, the remaining 1-1/3 cups sugar, the flour mixture, and the vanilla extract to the food processor. Pulse until well blended.
Add the olive oil last and pulse until thoroughly blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake on the center rack until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the top of the cake is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then slide a thin knife or offset spatula around the sides of the pan and turn it over to unmold the cake onto a plate, then flip the cake onto a wire rack.
Let cool thoroughly, on the rack, at least 30 to 40 minutes more, and pour orange glaze over the cake when cool. Sprinkle the fleur de sel over the cake at the last minute.
To make the orange glaze:
Combine the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion
by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark
Hardcover (286 pages) | Find on Amazon
In The Perfect Finish, White House pastry chef Bill Yosses has compiled an amazing collection of his delicious dessert recipes and adapted them for home bakers.
You'll find recipes for cakes, pies, puddings, crepes suzettes, candies and cookies ~ even muffins, scones and quick breads.
Each one is accompanied by the sort of detailed, step-by-step instructions that will not only yield perfect results, but will make you a better baker overall.
Yosses shares his years of expertise in a clear, concise manner that is really helpful for the home baker.
Every recipe is prefaced with authors' notes that give a little background info on the recipe along with technique tips and suggestions for easy variations.
Chapter titles include: Come for Brunch, Pick-Me-Ups, Straight from the Oven, I'll Bring Dessert, Restaurant Desserts You Can Make at Home, Birthday and Celebration Cakes and Holiday Desserts.
In addition to recipes like Banana-Sour Cream Loaf, Flat and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Lemon Pound Cake Supreme, Yosses explores some cutting-edge flavor combinations that are sure to inspire even the most seasoned home baker.
Here are a few that really peaked our interest ~
- Pepper and Spice Dark Chocolate Cookies ~ a crumbly dark chocolate cookie spiced with black and pink peppercorns, cayenne, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and vanilla.
- Candied Bacon Peach Cobbler ~ brown-sugar baked bacon is crumbled into the dough for the cobbler biscuits that top fresh, sweet peaches scented with vanilla and honey.
- Pine Nut Tart with Rosemary ~ a tart made with pine nuts, a honey and brown sugar caramel, yogurt and a bit of fresh rosemary to add a pine-like herbal note.
- Sweet Basil Seed and Tapioca Pudding ~ a Vietnamese-inspired dessert that uses sweet basil seeds, orange zest, cream of coconut and vanilla to take tapioca pudding to a new level.
- Asian Trifle with Lime Yogurt Cream ~ an exotic trifle that includes fruits like pineapple, dragon fruit, lychee, passion fruit and mango, layered with sponge cake and a tangy lime flavored cream.
The Perfect Finish is sure to become a contemporary classic and a valuable addition to any cookbook collection.