Happy May! Do you subscribe to or have you ever thumbed through Cook’s Illustrated? It’s one of my very favorite magazines and it’s always a happy mail day when it arrives. I enjoy it because of its consistent output of content, beauty, and practicality. Each issue covers two months and contains dozens of recipes, reviews, equipment, and tips that have been tested over and over to ensure quality and care . I have made so many meals from my collection of CI magazines over the years, and almost every one has been a hit with our family. In the most recent issue I came across a recipe for a cake that sounded tasty and simple. Because I am more of a savory gal an olive oil cake really appealed to me. Made from only a handful of good ingredients, this cake makes a beautiful paring with coffee or other warm beverages no matter the time of day. I think it would be really lovely with some vanilla bean whipped cream and berries, and that’s what I am going to start making when we host overnight guests at home.
And I’d be remiss not to mention the stunning illustrations that grace each issue drawn by one of my favorite artists, John Burgoyne. He also happens to be the artist behind our farmer’s market calendar and his work adds so much beauty to our home. I try to hold onto each piece he makes and usually re-purpose them in a variety of ways so not to waste or toss his creations. So as you can see, CI is both beautiful and informative, a perfect magazine for the kitchen.
Here’s my recipe for olive oil cake slightly adapted with the addition of rosemary + orange from Cook’s Illustrated:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 large farm eggs
- 1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 3/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil – I love this brand
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- sprigs of fresh rosemary to top
To prepare, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a round 9 inch pan and whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Using a mixer, whip eggs on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Add 1 1/4 cups sugar and lemon zest, increase speed to high, and whip until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and with mixer running, and slowly pour in olive oil. Mix until oil is fully incorporated, for about 1 minute. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add milk and mix, then add remaining flour mixture and mix well until all is incorporated. Transfer batter to a prepared pan, sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar if you desire, tuck fresh rosemary on top in a pretty design, and bake for 40-45 minutes. When done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes and then remove from the pan and serve alongside berries, cream, or by itself with a cup of coffee.
Also, did you know these are some health benefits of olive oil?
- Rich in healthy monosaturated fats
- Contains large amounts of antioxidants
- Has strong anti-inflammatory properties
- Has anti-bacterial properties
What food magazines or blogs do you love getting meal inspiration from? Do you subscribe to any hard print publications? While I love blogs (clearly), isn’t there is something so wonderful about getting a copy of something in my hands to touch and scribble on? I love reading mine on Saturday mornings. And one more question, I have been tossing around the idea of creating seasonal meal plans for this space and am wondering if that sort of thing would appeal to you? I know it would take quite a bit of work to compile this so I am wondering how much something this could help you out. I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have a free afternoon, make this cake!