I hate baking. It is too time-consuming, too hot, too much of a chemistry experiment. You have to agonize by the oven while your item is cooking, wondering if it is going to be good enough. If you are impatient like me, it just never quite turns out right.
When I was in the convent, I honed a lot of my cooking skills. With six hungry sisters living under one roof, it was never easy coming up with easy recipes to whip up after work. I learned to make an olive oil cake that became my go-to dessert. Not as heavy as a pound cake, it was nonetheless satisfying. The orange glaze can be changed out for a lemon or clementine glaze. Or you can skip the glaze and cover with powered sugar. Either way, this wound up being the only thing I learned to bake in my year in the convent that I didn’t dread making:
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Orange Glaze:
1. 1 cup powdered sugar
2. 1 tsp orange zest
3. 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
Add the orange juice 1 Tbsp at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
- Preheat the oven to 325° and butter and flour a 10-cup bundt pan. In a bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar and orange zest at medium-high speed until smooth. Gradually beat in the olive oil until creamy, about 2 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the cake flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating on medium speed between additions.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, make the orange glaze in a separate bowl. Add the orange juice 1 Tbsp at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
- Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a rack. Drizzle glaze onto cake while cake still slightly warm. Let the cake cool completely before cutting into slices and serving.
Sources: Cake recipe originally from http://www.foodandwine.com. Glaze recipe is a modification of a recipe that appeared in Parade magazine in March 2013.