The first gift was this tin of cherry blend tea. Part of a gift box of goodies from a dear friend. The box came when I was a bit "down" and knowing that a friend was kind enough to select and send several things that she knew I would love definitely cheered my mood.
The second gift was a recipe from a new cookbook that she had bought -- Olives and Oranges. A recipe for a lemon olive oil cake. She had made it and raved about it and share the recipe.
Since I had lemons on the counter, I decided to make this cake.
It turned our to be a fantastic lemon cake. I dusted it with powdered sugar and decorated it with sprigs of lemon verbena from the garden. I ended up sharing it with dinner guests and they, too, thought it was a great cake (and went very well with the wee glass of Lemincello that we served alongside)
One piece shall be saved for tomorrow morning. With a cup of cherry tea and a slice of the lemon olive oil cake, it shall make my morning. Thank you, friend Carolyn, for two great gifts.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
slow-cook recipe/Makes 10 servings
Versions of this simple cake are made all over Italy, to be eaten at breakfast with coffee or tea. Similar to pound cake, it differs mainly in that the fat used is olive oil instead of butter, which, surprisingly, results in a cake with an even richer and more unctuous character. yogurt adds a subtle tang. Use your best extra-virgin olive oil here.
Flavor tip:Whether you are baking or making a sauce or salad dressing, capture the flavorful oil that lies just beneath the peel of a lemon, lime, or orange by zesting the citrus directly into the bowl with the other ingredients.
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Put oven rack in center position and heat oven to 325* F. Lightly oil a 9-inch sprin form pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
With an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl on high speed for 5 minutes, or until pale and thick. Add yogurt and zest; beat to combine. With mixer on medium speed, add oil in a quick, steady stream. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture just until blended. Whisk batter by hand to make sure that all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour batter into pan. Bake, rotating pan once, until cake is golden, center springs back to the touch, and edges pull away from pan, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for a minute or two on rack, then release from pan and let cool completely on rack before slicing.