Lately, olive oil cakes have been all the rage, but little do most of us know, is that Italians have been using olive oil in their moist cakes for centuries.
Many chefs use olive oil because it provides a nice richness and an undertone of earthy flavor without all the denseness and greasiness of butter that you would usually use in baking.
Another difference of an olive oil cake is that it’s not an overly sweet cake, taking the notes from citrus and herbs, in this case cardamom. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Arab cultures loved infusing this spice into their foods and potions because of their aphrodisiac qualities. (So, if you are looking for that extra special Hanukkah gift, you might try serving this Cardamom cake to your hubby ASAP!!!)
Its nice to always add new spices to our cooking and baking menus because of the healing qualities that benefit a varied diet. In this case, cardamom also contains chemicals that appear to treat stomach and intestinal issues, and increase the movement of food through the intestine. Thank you Rachel Harkham of RecipeRachel.com. for sending in this wonderful recipe.
Cardamom Citrus Olive Oil Cake
by Rachel Harkham at RecipeRachel.com.
When you think of Hanukkah food you think of Latkes, right? Golden,crisp-fried potato pancakes are perfect holiday food for a cold winter’s night. Lighting the menorah for eight nights aptly commemorates the miracle of little jar of oil that lit up the menorah in the Temple. Eating food made or prepared with oil is the best way to celebrate this eight day Festival of Light . But after a few crispy fried nights when your taste buds are yearning for a different texture and taste, Citrus-Cardamom Olive Oil Cake is just the thing to keep the oil celebration going. Made with olive oil (non-extra virgin yields moister results), with layers of bright citrus bursts and warm cardamom spice, this cake tenderly celebrates both flavor and olive oil in every bite.
Cardamom Citrus Hanukkah Olive Oil Cake
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Zest of one small lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray a round cake pan
- Beat together eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy and very thick
- Slowly stream olive oil into egg-sugar mixture, beat together on lowest speed .
- In separate bowl: whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, zest, and cardamom.
- Gently fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, being sure to mix completely.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until light golden brown and it passes the toothpick test . After cake has cooled remove from pan, plate, and pour orange cardamom glaze over top of the cake, allowing glaze to drip lazily down the sides.
Orange Cardamom Glaze
1 ½ c. powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon orange zest
4-5 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Mix all ingredients together in bowl until the glaze is thick enough coat the back of your spoon. Alternately, dilute with 1 tbsp. of OJ at a time if the glaze is too thick.
Candied Citrus Slices
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 sliced lemon and/or orange cut into ¼ inch rounds
- In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Boil gently for 12 -15 minutes or until mixture becomes thick and syrupy, stirring every so often.
- Add fruit slices to syrup, stirring to submerge. Simmer for about five minutes until fruit is tender and slightly shrunken. Gently remove fruit from syrup and place artfully on top of the cake. Reserve citrus simple syrup for another use (it’s great for mixed drinks).