July 30, 2018
This is about...
Olive Oil Cake with Summer Berries ---YUM!
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        I CAN’T HELP IT! There are so many beautiful fruits out there right now, that I HAVE TO MAKE DESSERT---AND A LOT OF IT! I especially love all the berries of summer. And even though I thoroughly enjoy eating them just as they are, I want to turn them into yummy pies and cakes and bars and pavlovas and ice creams. The only dilemma? There’s sooooo little time!
        THIS IS A LUSCIOUS BERRY CAKE WITH A TWIST. It’s filled with plenty of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, but instead of the usual butter in the recipe, this is going all out with extra virgin olive oil. The advantage of the EVOO is that IT KEEPS THE CAKE VERY TENDER AND EXCEPTIONALLY MOIST. And, the tartness of the berries with a hint of lemon, pairs so well with the oil and the sweet cake. Plus it’s a delicious cake with no “olive oily” taste.
        Let’s face it, it’s summer and it’s hot, and no one wants to be baking all afternoon in an overheated kitchen. That’s why this cake is so great. IT’S SUPER EASY TO PUT TOGETHER. Just mix all the ingredients together, fold in some fruit and bake. An hour or so later and it’s done.
        You can serve it as is, piled high with some extra berries and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. Or, gild the lily with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. You want this cake to come out of the pan. First, make sure to grease the inside of the pan well—(I like to use softened butter, but cooking spray is ok.) Then place a circle of parchment on the bottom and grease the parchment. Finally, dust the entire inside of the pan with flour, tapping out any excess.
2. Wash the berries, and then dry them thoroughly. You can put them on a rimmed sheet pan lined with paper towels and roll them back and forth until they’re dry.
3. The only important piece of equipment is a high-sided, heavy duty 9” round baking pan with at least 2 1/2” sides. Lower sides will not work because the batter might overflow. But, if you don’t have that kind of pan, you can still use a lower 9” or 8” pan, fill it 2/3 full and use the leftover batter for muffins.
4. The baking time can range anywhere from 65-75 minutes. The key is to test it with a toothpick. It should come out clean from the center of the cake, and be nicely browned, with it starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Olive Oil Cake with Summer Berries
(Adapted from Williams Sonoma Kitchens)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, from one large lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8th teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh blackberries, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Make the cake:
        Place the rack in the center of the oven, and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Grease the inside of a 9” round cake pan with 2 ½’ sides with softened butter or cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper, and grease the parchment. Dust the entire inside of the pan with flour and tap out any excess. Alternatively, you can use a 9” or 8” round pan with lower sides and fill 2/3 full. Make muffins with the extra batter.
        In a medium bowl, fitted with a strainer over the top, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in both sugars into the flour, and combine well. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, milk, lemon zest, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk the flour mixture into the olive oil mixture and combine well. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the berries.
        Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, the cake is browned, and the cake is just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 65-75 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto a rack, reinvert onto the first rack, and let cool completely. The cake, ungarnished, can sit loosely covered at room temperature for 2 days, or refrigerated for up to a week.
        When ready to serve, remove parchment, place on a serving platter, garnish with the extra berries and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Add a scoop of whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Makes 8-10 servings.      YUM!
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