Spring Recipes: Olive Oil and Orange-Essence Cake with Soft Cream

We've decided that the rain is over and the next few months will be cool but sunny. So it's time to break out the spring recipes, things like pasta with baby vegetables and light, wholesome pastries. This cake, created by KCET chef Joanne Weir, is made mostly from pantry staples, but the floral, fruity flavor makes it a perfect seasonal dessert.

Photo by Flickr user ulterior epicureOlive Oil and Orange-Essence Cake with Soft Cream
Serves 8 to 10
5 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sweet Muscat, late-harvest Riesling or Gewürtztraminer wine
2 1/2 tablespoons orange flower water (easily found at gourmet and Middle Eastern grocers)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar, for topping
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, for topping

Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan or line the bottom with parchment. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Beat the egg yolks with half the granulated sugar until well ribboned, about 2 minutes. Beat in the orange zest, slowly whisk in the olive oil in drops, and finally, add the wine and orange flower water. Mix together the flour and salt and beat into the egg mixture.

Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks. Beat in the remaining granulated sugar until the whites hold stiff peaks. Stir 1 cup of the beaten whites into the batter and then gently fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Decrease the heat to 300°F and continue to bake another 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and cover the top of the cake with a round of buttered parchment paper, and leave in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a rack.

To serve, whip the cream to soft peaks and add 1 tablespoon of the confectioner's sugar and vanilla. If you're feeling extra-fancy or want to sweeten it up a bit, top the cake with a layer of orange marmalade and rows of candied oranges. Slice the cake and serve a wedge of the cake with a dollop of the cream on the side, dusted with some of the remaining 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar.

See show times for "Joanne Weir's Cooking Class" here!

[Top photo by Flickr user Sifu Renka]

About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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