Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This cake is perfect for any brunch or if you want to end the night with a lighter dessert.  The cake has a very mild flavor so you can jazz it up any way you like; fresh whipped cream, raspberry sauce, fresh fruit, or blueberry sauce like I used.  The lemon flavored olive oil drizzled on top of the cake before serving adds an extra hint of lemon and tastes wonderful!
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Source: The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco & Mindy Fox
Yields one 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 - inch loaf

Unsalted butter, softened, for the pan
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, strained
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon Demerara (pure cane) sugar
good-quality lemon olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 - inch loaf pan with parchment paper; butter the pan and the paper.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring it to a simmer.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, and lemon zest.  Set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is warm to the touch, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium speed until the mixture thickens, is pale yellow, and forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted, 5 to 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, milk, and lemon juice.  When the egg mixture has thickened, slowly drizzle in the oil mixture with the machine running.  Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix just to combine.  Drizzle in the butter and mix just to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the Demerara sugar.  Bake, rotating the pan once after 40 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden, the center bounces back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.  Unmold the cake from the loaf pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.  Serve at room temperature or toasted, with slices drizzled with lemon olive oil.

The cake is best eaten the day it is baked but can be kept at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

Fresh Blueberry Sauce
Yields 12 servings (serving size: about 3 tablespoons)

1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil.  Cook 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly.  Add blueberries and remaining ingredients to pan, and return to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; cook 4 minutes or until berries pop, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.


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