This recipe transports me to Sevilla, where the streets are lined with orange trees, the buildings are washed in sunlight and high quality olive oil is the standard. When you’re in Sevilla and you taste a homemade gazpacho or salmorejo, you realize why using good olive oil matters. I remember that time when Pablo, my Sevillano flatmate in Madrid, presented me with an olive oil that he had brought back with him from a weekend trip to Sevilla. While he explained to me that Andalucia makes the best olive oil in the world (sorry Italy), he poured a cap-full of olive oil, took a sip and then poured another capful for me. That was the first time I had seen anyone taste olive oil, straight up. I followed suit, of course, holding the nutty, slightly fruity oil in my mouth for a moment so I could really taste it. I had to admit: it was the best olive oil I had ever had.
My brother Jake visited me when I lived in Madrid and together we ventured to Sevilla. We walked around the entire city, stopping to refuel on jamón, hard cheeses, boquerones (lightly fried anchovies), and salmorejo topped with hard boiled egg and oily tuna. We walked through the historic bullring, or plaza de toros. We basked in the powerful sunlight. We went to a traditional flamenco dance that was full of wasted study-abroad kids – touristy as sh*t – but it was still incredible.
Though we didn’t have any olive oil cake on that trip, the essence of this cake is Sevilla. The recipe comes from the Franks of Prime Meats, Frankies Spuntino, etc. I took their recipe for olive oil bundt cake, created for their coffee joint Cafe Pedlar, and paired it down to loaf-size. Then I threw in some minced rosemary and served it with raw honey.
But before the baking began, I had to find a flavorful olive oil that would shine. We Olive, a store specializing in olive oil, in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, had the perfect oil, made with Arbequina olives, to use for this cake. We Olive carries olive oils produced in California, but the Arbequina style comes from Spain and is super popular in Catalunya and Andalucia. When I staged at Nerua, if a recipe called for good oil, for making a dressing or sauce, we always used an Arbequina olive oil. We Olive is the place to go especially if flavor is important – you can taste the olive oil before buying and learn a thing or two about olive oil varieties.
This post is a throwback to Sevilla, where I hope to travel again soooooon. Feliz fin de semana amigos! Cocinamos!
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest, finely grated
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
- 3/5 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/5 cups cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- butter (for loaf pan)
- Preheat over ot 325 degrees fahrenheit.
- Butter the inside of a loaf pan (size: 5 cups of liquid should fill about half of the pan).
- Using a handheld electric mixer or an old-fashioned crank like the one I used, beat the eggs, sugar and zest together at medium speed until smooth. The mixture should become a light yellow color.
- Whisk together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the rosemary.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches, beating at medium speed.
- When fully mixed, scrape the batter into the loaf pan. Thoroughly lick spoon.
- Bake for 45 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center – if done, it should come out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Serve warm with honey OR topped with powdered sugar and a dollop of creme fraiche. Should keep for 4 days in an airtight container.
We Olive & Wine Bar
116 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
* Tell me your favorite recipe with olive oil in the comments section below or on my insta-account ~> caitlin_gunther ~> and you’ll have a chance to WIN A FREE BOTTLE of olive oil from We Olive. No delivery, so you must be able to pick up your winnings from the We Olive store in Brooklyn.