Tag Archives: olive oil

Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary and Dark Chocolate (and Orange Mascarpone Frosting, if you like)

There are a lot of ways that you can try to dichotomize people- Right-Brained vs. Left-Brained.  Introverts vs. Extroverts.  Cat-People vs. Dog-People.  (For a while I thought maybe I was an all-around “Animal-Person”, but after much consideration I have come to the conclusion that I am truly a Cat-Person who happens to like some dogs.)

One category that has always baffled me are the people who claim that they are “not a dessert person”.  As someone who, in an ideal world, would conclude every meal with at least a little something sweet, I have a hard time relating to people who claim to never be tempted by ice cream, chocolate, or baked goods.

As I have gotten older, though, my sweet-tooth has developed a more refined palate.  Although there are still a few super-sugary treats I have a hard time resisting (i.e., Dunkin Donuts or Cadbury Creme Eggs), the desserts I really appreciate are the ones that have a lighter touch with the sugar.  Strawberries with balsamic and basil, for instance.

Or this Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary and Dark Chocolate.  I think this is a cake that even the self-proclaimed non-dessert people would like.  It’s not too rich or too sweet, has a nice graininess from the spelt flour, and the rosemary is fragrant and earthy.

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I followed the recipe exactly, so just follow the link above over to The Vanilla Bean Blog.  While you’re over there, spend some time perusing all the delicious-looking recipes.

A technical note: The recipe calls for using a 9 1/2 inch fluted tart pan.  If you are wondering if you can get away with using a 9-inch tart pan, the answer is yes, but the cake will rise above the edge and bake over the side a little bit.  Absolutely no effect on the taste, just not quite as neat, if you’re concerned with such things.  You can also use a springform cake pan with higher sides; you won’t get the pretty fluted edge, but you don’t have to worry about overflow.

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If you are wanting something fancier, you can top the cake with an orange-scented mascarpone frosting, which makes it a little more decadent but still not over-the-top.   I did this for Mother’s Day, and no one complained.  If you should choose to do so…

  • While the cake is cooling, combine 1 pound mascarpone cheese, 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, and 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (or a little more, if preferred) in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Use the paddle attachment to beat at high speed, until soft peaks form- about 60-90 seconds.
  • Spread frosting on the top (and sides, if you like) of the cooled cake.  This recipe will yield way more frosting than you will need for the cake, but I’m sure you can find a way to use it up.  I’m thinking it would be lovely with ginger snaps or graham crackers….
  • Keep frosted cake chilled and serve within a few hours.

With or without frosting, leftovers of this cake (if there are any) are wonderful for breakfast.

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Filed under Cooking

Call to All Foodies (on a Budget): Olive Oil Recommendations?

I don’t have a bucket list.  Probably because I am not particularly fond of the word “bucket.”*

But if I did have a bucket list, do you know what would be on there, most likely higher up than it should be?

Attending an olive oil tasting.

Yes, such a thing exists, and conveniently it seems to often occur near vineyards, where you can engage in other sorts of tastings.

Ideally, I will do this somewhere in California, because going to California in general is also on my life to-do list (I hear they have some decent zoos and aquariums there…).

But for now, I have a smaller goal – to find a good, reasonably priced olive oil.  Not for cooking, but to be used as more of a finishing oil.  You know, salad dressings, for dipping bread, etc.  I seem to end up with ones that are either flavorless or bitter.  I’ve read that bitterness is sometimes considered a good thing with olive oil, but I’ve had ones where that was all I tasted, even when mixed with other foods.

I suppose I could do more research on my own, but I spend enough of my time doing research.  So I decided to take the lazy way out and ask for recommendations from others.  Please remember, I am a grad student, so while I am suspect there are some incredible olive oils out there with a price tag to match, for now I’m looking for a good value.

Suggestions?  If I try one you suggest and like it, I might just give you some recognition….

*The more words I add to this list of words I don’t like, the more I wonder if I have some bizarre, lexical variation of a sensory processing disorder, where I have extreme sensitivity and aversion to certain words just based on the way they sound.  Is there such a thing??


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