Friday, September 28, 2018

The Moistest Orange Olive Oil Cake

One of the desserts for my Italian Dinner Night was an Orange Olive Cake, oh my gosh was it awesome! I love anything citrusy, and this cake was soooo good.  It was moist, that is always at the top of my list when eating cake. It was especially good because there is no frosting on this cake, it doesn't need it! I made two cakes for my dinner and by the end of the night, all but two small pieces were left.  It was a fan of everyone, as some took pieces of it home and wanted the recipe.  I served my cake with fresh whipped cream on the side sprinkled with a little orange zest.

This cake is going to be a staple in my house.  The hubby loved it, we were fighting over the last piece of the cake, shame on us, we know how to share!

This is one of the easiest cakes I have ever baked, and outside of my homemade chocolate cake, this one is a number one too.  This is how I made it.
Recipe below.
To print recipe, click on it, highlight and print.
To view photos in a larger format, click on them.

Simple ingredients is all it takes to make this delicious cake and I always have these ingredients in the house, so I didn't have to run to the store.
 Spray your spring form pan with baking spray, cut a round of parchment paper by tracing around bottom of pan.  Cut inside the trace mark, place the round in the bottom of pan.
 Zest oranges, and start mixing ingredients together.
 Don't forget to wrap outside bottom of pan with foil.
 Cake is done and cooled.
 There it is in the back, dusted with confectioner's sugar and looking pretty tasty!
Orange Olive Oil Cake

zest from 1 1/2 - 2 oranges, I like a lot of zest in it for more flavor
1 3/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional (see note)
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups regular extra virgin olive oil, do not use flavored oils
3/4 cup Simply Orange No Pulp Orange Juice
Confectioner's sugar for dusting on top of cooled cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch spring form pan with cooking spray. Place a round of parchment in the bottom of the pan and spray lightly with cooking spray. Wrap the outside of the pan bottom in heavy duty foil to catch any leaks.

Zest oranges, set aside.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom (if using), set aside.

In large bowl, beat eggs on medium high with mixer until broken up and combined, about 1 minute.
Slowly add sugar and continue beating until light and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and oil to the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. (1/3 flour, 1/2 oil, 1/3 flour, 1/2 oil, 1/3 flour) mixing until mostly combined after each addition.  On low speed, add the orange juice and zest until all is combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until cake tester/toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.  If you notice cake starting to get really brown, tent a piece of foil over the top for the remaining baking time. Remember all ovens are different, mine took exactly 55 minutes. 

Remove  from oven to a cooling rack, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in pan.  Take a paddle knife and go around the edge between the pan and cake to loosen it from the ring.  Remove ring around spring form pan and allow to cool completely on a rack.

Cover cake and let sit overnight.

Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve. Make 1 cake.

NOTE: Cardamom has a spicy, herbal, citrusy, smoky flavor to it.  The 1/8 teaspoon this recipe called for gave this cake a hint of the taste. If you want more of that taste, use your judgement and use more Cardamom, but if you don't like it or are allergic to it leave it out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Pep, Pep, Pepperoni!

Our Italian Pasta Dinner Night is this weekend, a little later than previous years.  It's a night filled with family, good friends, food and drink.  My family and I prepare a full course Italian meal, all made from scratch, from the appetizers to dessert and including the limoncello!  It's a lot of work, but with everyone pitching in it's a lot of fun too, and at the end of the day well worth it.

One of the appetizers that I added this year to my antipasto platters is pepperoni chips.  These little crunchy pieces of spicy meat are delicious.  They are so easy to make and eat, because they are finger food, but watch out these are addictive as I found out! I couldn't stop eating them as I was making them, not really a breakfast item I might add, but hey I had to taste test them, right!

I made about 2 lbs of pepperoni chips because I am feeding a crowd.  I purchased 2 big 1 1/2 lb bags of sliced pepperoni at BJ's and didn't quite use the whole second pack.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a medium size bowl with foil and set aside. Cover your baking sheets with foil to avoid some of the mess and catch the grease that drains out of the pepperoni. Put a cooling rack on top of the foil lined baking sheets.  Line the pepperoni slices on the cooling rack but don't crowd them. I fit 5 slices across starting at the short end. 
Bake for 7-8 minutes, depending on your oven, until crispy.  
Remove from oven, slide off of cooling rack and drain on paper towels.  Now, if you work fast on getting them off the rack and onto the paper towels while they are still hot and a little soft, you can blot them on top with a layer of paper towels by pressing just very gently to absorb the grease but be careful not to break the chips. The chips will get crispier as they cool.
This is what that medium size bowl lined with foil is for.  Drain the fat off the baking sheets in between each batch of chips so it doesn't burn or smoke in your oven.  Easy peasy on the cleanup, just let it coagulate, fold it up and toss it in the trash can.
Enjoy your pepperoni chips for snacking, in salads, or on an appetizer tray mixed with cheeses, roasted peppers and olives.  Store the chips in a tightly sealed container, will keep for a few days at room temperature.