Monday, December 10, 2012

Orange Olive Oil Cake (And Giveaway!)


Mmm....tasty cake.
UPDATE: THE GIVEAWAY HAS CLOSED!

This blog post is part of the Hanukkah Blog Party, where kosher bakers from all around the world share their Hanukkah themed recipes with each other and everyone else! Scroll down to the bottom of the post for more information, links to other blogs, and instructions on how to enter to win a free cookbook! You can join in the party by tweeting about the posts you read and using the hashtag #HanukkahBP. 

Chanukah is probably my favorite holiday in the Jewish calendar. Sure, you get a lot of presents, which is always nice. But more importantly, it's traditional to eat a lot of fried foods to commemorate the oil that burned for eight nights in the Temple in Jerusalem. That means there's always tons of latkes and doughnuts at Chanukah parties, both of which I love to eat. In fact, when I lived in Israel for a year, I ate about 20 jelly doughnuts in a week. Tip: Don't do that. It's a super bad idea.

Anyway, latkes or doughnuts are ideal candidates for a Chanukah blog post. You've got your fried dough, your sugar, and did I mention the tasty fried dough? There's only one problem: I really hate frying. 

No, seriously. I've never enjoyed frying. Well, except that time over Thanksgiving where I deep fried a turkey, but that's a different story. It's a messy process, potentially quite dangerous, very easy to screw up, and the oil gets in the air and messes up my eyes. There also may be some residual trauma from when I stood over a deep fryer for four hours every Saturday night in my underground college restaurant (I really need to write about that at some point.) As a general rule, I try to avoid frying at all costs.

So when I thought about what to make for my Chanukah post, I decided to find another way to incorporate oil into my baking. I Googled around for some options, pulled out all my cookbooks, and finally stumbled across a cake that uses olive oil and orange juice. Sold!

I love it when a cake comes together.
This is an awesome cake. It takes about 15 minutes to put together, with the bulk of the work spent zesting an orange. Otherwise, you can do it all in two bowls, and the second bowl is just to sift the dry ingredients together, so that doesn't really count. And in return, you get a cake with just the right amount of orange flavor without being too sweet. Plus, it's completely dairy free, so it can be served all year round!

Let me take a moment to talk about olive oil. Odds are, you've got a great bottle of extra virgin olive oil in your pantry. Please, if you can, don't use it for this cake. The quality of the cake won't be diminished, but your high-quality olive oil will go to waste. Extra virgin olive oil usually has a light and delicate flavor which can get overpowered by the taste of orange. Unless your extra virgin olive oil has a really powerful olive taste, use a cheaper olive oil. Save the good stuff for when it can really shine, like in a salad dressing. 

One last side note: I originally had a section here decrying the use of extra virgin olive oil in baking because the heat would break down the flavor compounds. I did some research into it and could not find a single source to back up that theory. While it is true that unrefined extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point than most oils (250 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the 400+ of corn oil), the interior of the cake is unlikely to exceed 200 degrees, so no degradation should occur. Myth dispelled!

Anyway, back to the subject at hand: The cake. Originally, I thought it came out a tad drier than I would have liked. But in an unscientific survey I conducted where I gave people cake and asked them if it was dry, no one agreed with me. Still, if you make this at home and decide it's dried out, I'd recommend increasing the oil not the orange juice. I think the flavor balance is just right, and it can always take a bit more oil. Orange juice, on the other hand, is pretty strong. Don't go overboard.

One final note: making this cake is part of a larger project I'm undertaking where I'm examining how different oils can be used in baking. Over the next month or so, I'm going to be trying out other baked goods made with olive oil, along with coconut oil and vegetable oil. If you've got recipes that you'd like me to experiment with, send them to me or mention it in your contest entry below. 

Happy Chanukah!
Seriously, doesn't that look delicious?
ORANGE OLIVE OIL CAKE (Adapted from Melissa d'Arabian's Orange Olive Oil Cake)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Juice of 1/2 orange (somewhere between 3 tablespoons and 1/4 cup of juice)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Mix together the sugar and eggs in another medium bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed until blended and light. 
  4. Drizzle in the olive oil and vanilla and mix until light and smooth. Add the orange juice and zest and mix well. 
  5. Add the flour mixture half at a time to the wet ingredients and mix on low just to incorporate. 
  6. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. It's done when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. It may take longer than 20 minutes to bake, but should take no longer than 25. Let the cake cool 15 minutes, dust with confectioners' sugar (if using) and serve.


Welcome to our first ever Hanukkah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook. It's traditional on Hanukkah to eat fried treats, most notably donuts and latkes, and we've got a fabulous array of Hanukkah themed recipes, treats and crafts from Jewish bloggers all over the world! Scroll down for links to all of the delicious treats.

To help get everyone into party mode, we have a bunch of fabulous new cookbooks to giveaway! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win one of:
  • 2 copies of Susie Fishbein's new Kosher By Design Cooking Coach (sponsored by Artscroll)
  • 2 copies of Leah Schapira's Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking (sponsored by Artscroll) 
  • 2 copies of Esther Deutch's CHIC Made Simple (sponsored by the author)
How to enter: Leave a comment on this post saying how you like to use olive oil when making food. For example: salad dressing, butter replacement when baking, frying medium, etc. Your entry must be accompanied by a valid e-mail address to qualify. If you don't want to type out your e-mail address publicly, send me an e-mail at abonetopick@gmail.com with the subject "Hanukkah Blog Party Contest Entry" and a link to your comment (you can get your comment's unique link from the timestamp next to your name).

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 16th. Limit one entry per person per blog, so visit the other blogs for extra chances to win!  Prizes can only be shipped within the US. Remember: entries must be accompanied by a valid email address in order to qualify.

This is the second of many fabulous Holiday Blog Parties. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to participate in future parties, please email holidayblogparties@gmail.com

Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:

Latkes:
Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce
Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes
Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin
Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can't Believe They're Crispy!) Baked Latkes
Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes

Donuts and Desserts:
Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
Gigi from Gigi's Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts
Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
Shoshana from Couldn't Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot
Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies
Yosef from This American Bite made Garlic, Zaatar and Olive Oil Popcorn

Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
G6 from Guess Who's Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
Jennifer from Juanita's Cocina made Kugel
Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll!
Shelley from The Kosher Home made Hanukkah Crafts and Printables

29 comments:

  1. This looks delish - I love baking with olive oil.

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  2. Love this! WOW!

    I love to drizzle olive oil over veges and roast them!

    So glad you joined the blog party - can't wait to see how you used the printables! http://thekosherhome.com/chanukah-sameach/

    Shelley from The Kosher home!

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  3. A perfectly easy cake to make for the holiday's. I think orange and olive oil would make a perfect combinations.

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  4. I almost submitted a rosemary olive oil cake to #HannukahBP - glad you got this one covered because I am happy with my Garliz Za'atar Stovetop Popcorn! Happy Channukah!

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    1. Happy to cover the cake side of things! Happy Chanukah!

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  5. I use olive oil in my challah every week. And frying latkes, of course. I've got to try this cake!

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  6. Nice!

    If you're looking for a more complicated version of this cake (because, of course, anything in cooking can be made more complicated), smitten kitchen has a blood orange olive oil cake (but it does have buttermilk in it, so it requires the soy milk+vinegar substitute) that I remember being delicious: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2011/02/blood-orange-olive-oil-cake/

    Also, when pesach rolls around (or before), if you feel like trying out this flourless chocolate cake with coconut oil instead of butter, I would be intrigued: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/01/shf-27-chocolat-1/

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    1. I saw the Smitten Kitchen recipe and nearly made it, but I preferred this one since, as you noted, I don't have to deal with substituting buttermilk.

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  7. this seriously does look so tasty! thanks for the recipe! xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @ www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

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  8. I like to use olive oil primarily in salads.

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  9. OH DEAR...I am loving this blog party here! It is a great way to soak in all the calories without them going to my hips!!!! I come by way of SHARON! Anita

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  10. I use Olive Oil to fry most foods in -- I use garlic flavored garlic oil for a lot of recipes to bring out the flavor!
    JenniferAnne74@aol.com

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  11. I use olive oil for sauteeing and in salad dressings and marinades, but not usually to bake with. Interesting idea!

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  12. I like to use olive oil in salad and in cooking veggies. Also in homemade pesto!

    The cake looks fabulous- I have been meaning to try olive oil cake for a while now!

    Thanks for joining the party!

    overtime cook at gmail

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  13. I like to drizzle a drop olive oil in a bowl of hot soup

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  14. Pasta sauce. It makes a really lovely base for any pasta sauce!.

    beardn@gmail.com

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  15. I use olive oil for baking, frying, salad dressing, roasting vegetables, everything.

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  16. We usually use olive oil in the raw things, like salad dressings and in salads or hummus. I like the idea of using it as a base flavor in baking.

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  17. I usually use it in cooking, marinating and salads.

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  18. I actually took this recipe and combined some of it with a green olive recipe. I was a little worried about the outcome, but it came out great! If anyone is interested in hearing what the recipe entails, I will post it.

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  19. Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest oil for cooking. These cake looks so nice. Hmmmmm... Excellent recipe!!

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  20. Congratulations Avidan! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this exciting information.

    Olives

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  21. Your cake looks delicious! I've made an orange olive oil cake, but with the addition of yogurt. It's great how such a simple cake can be tasty and fairly healthy! =)

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  24. Wow this look really great. Thanks for this great recipe.

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