This wonderful olive oil cake is a classic recipe from Portugal. The aroma of oranges and the sea, entwined. Not that there’s shellfish in this cake or anything – I was just trying to wax poetic. Never made it to Portugal or Spain during my European grand tour in 1973. Almost. Pamplona and the running of the bulls – I kid you not. We were 18 years old. Instead, my best friend and I headed to Naxos, Greece, where I fell madly in love with Pierre. I kid you not! It was a summer of pure bliss. Floating on love and not a care in the world.
In the Spain and Portugal classes I teach, this cake always ends the meal. Now, with the winter citrus harvest nearing it’s peak, let’s take this classic and tweak it a bit. How about jazzing it up with demerara sugar, polenta (because that’s what’s in the pantry), and the rest of that Kumquat Chutney, from last week, slathered on top.
- 1 cup flour
- ¾ cup quick cooking polenta or fine cornmeal
- ¾ cup demerara sugar
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 oranges
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup mild olive oil
- 1½ cups kumquat chutney or marmalade
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Oil and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
- Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Zest and squeeze the oranges. You should have ¾ of a cup of juice.
- Place the eggs, olive oil, orange juice, and zest in a medium size bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until lightly browned and a skewer or knife comes out clean.
- Place cake pan on a cooling rack.
Well, what’re ya goin to do when you’re snow bound, with 2 cups of kumquat chutney. Slather.