Archive

Tag Archives: olive oil

I don’t make carrot cakes very often, but when I do, I grate the hell out of a carrot and make sure it’s one moist cake. I happened to have a carrot lying around, and although I usually roast my carrots, I wanted to have my veggies in a slightly more delicious form: coupled with more carbs and fat. Carbs and fat makes anything taste better.

This cake, apart from the tedious grating of carrot, is really easy to make. I really like oil-based cake because it means I don’t have to cream butter and sugar. Everything’s just a simple swirl and mix with a silicone spatula. It’s really moist and I think this is a great base recipe. I used extra virgin olive oil because that’s all I had around, and I also omitted the ginger and nutmeg spices that the original recipe had. It still turned out pretty good, though. I still have trouble frosting a cake perfectly, but here’s what I think would help: freeze the cake, and chill the frosting for long enough so that everything stays firm.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 1 two-layer 9-inch cake

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil (I used EVOO with no problems)
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter and flour two 9 inch round pans.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Cool cakes completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
From AllRecipes

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

This is a really plain-looking cake, but as far as taste goes, it’s truly outstanding. I saw this recipe on Serious Eats, and was positively enthralled by the idea of adding olive oil into a lemon pound-esque cake. Those flavors sound very Mediterranean to me, and I also had a tub of Greek yogurt sitting in my fridge. Why the heck not?

And I’m exceptionally pleased with how this cake turned out. I used nonfat Greek yogurt instead of regular plain yogurt, and that might have contributed to the slightly coarser texture of the cake but I have absolutely no problems with how it tasted. The olive oil wasn’t exceptionally pronounced, and you wouldn’t be able to discern it if I didn’t tell you there was some. I truly love how this cake is startlingly good in its simplicity, and the technique required is almost idiot-proof too. Highly recommended.

Lemon Yogurt Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from Serious Eats
Makes one 9×5 loaf

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup EVO (extra-virgin olive oil)

Procedures

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter an 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch loaf pan, place the pan on a lined baking sheet and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and keep near by.

Put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and rub the ingredients together until the sugar is fragrant. Whisk in the yogurt, eggs and vanilla. When the mixture is well blended, gently whisk in the dry ingredients. Switch to a spatula and fold in the oil. The batter will be thick and shiny. Scrape it into the pan and smooth the top.

Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and starts to come away from the sides of the pan; a knife inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.

Storing: You can keep the cake at room temperature for at least 4 days or freeze it for up to 2 months


These biscuits were a haphazard post-work creation; I was really itching to make something, and since biscuits are as instant gratification as you could get when it comes to baking, I made some. They were decent warm from the oven but got a little dry as it sat out. I did use the minimum amount of fat needed and I also used olive oil instead of butter for an extra Italian twist. However, reheating made them better; and I’m sure dabbing some butter in a halved biscuit would be quite delicious.


Yogurt and Sun Dried Tomato Biscuits

Adapted from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Makes 7-8

1 cup all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoons olive oil
3/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon yogurt
3-4 pieces of sun dried tomatoes, chopped roughly

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add oil. Stir in sun dried tomatoes.

Using a large spoon, stir in the yogurt until mixture just forms a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it 10 times; no more. If it is sticky, add a little flour, but very little; it should still stick slightly to your hands.

Press the dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle and cut into 2-inch rounds. Put on ungreased baking sheet. Gently reshape the leftover dough and cut again. Bake for 7 – 9 minutes or until the biscuits are a beautiful golden brown. Serve within 15 minutes for them to be at their best.