Thursday, May 3, 2012

Olive Oil Cake with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

I am a creature of habit.

When left to my own devices, there is a specific way I like to live. I run a lot, sleep enough, and bake plenty. When I am solo, my meals are late and consist mostly of peanut butter, any and all treats I make for my blog, beer, and marinara sauce dipped in bread.

When I am with someone, things are different. I still run, sleep and bake. But how and when I do these things is negotiable. I also love, love cooking for others so I find myself actually making "meals." With salads and everything. Crazytown.

Jeff started a new job and this means erratic hours and a non-existent routine. It also means I am left to my own devices-

I am an olive oil and balsamic vinegar girl.

Olive oil is both a source of fat and a defining flavor in this recipe.

This cake bakes up spongy, with a nice domed top.

Glaze your cake immediately after it comes out of the oven, it will add moisture and  more citrus flavor.

You can stop here if you wish, the cake (or cupcake) is delicious with the simple glaze. 

Or you can make strawberry balsamic sauce to go on top. To round out the meal.

Basic life essentials: strawberries and sugar.

Add your balsamic.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes. The mixture will reduce in volume significantly.

Spoon the sauce over a wedge of olive oil cake and call it dinner. 

Olive Oil Cake & Strawberry Balsamic Sauce
(I scaled my recipe down using 1/3 of these measurements which yielded 4 cupcakes and one 4" round; the entire recipe will yield one 9" or 10" cake layer)

2 c sugar
3 eggs
1 1/4 milk
1 c olive oil
2 oz fresh orange juice
2 oz triple sec, or any orange liqueur
1 teaspoon salt
2 c AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon orange zest 

for the glaze:
1/2 c honey
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
triple sec

for the strawberry sauce:
1 c strawberries, chopped
1/2 c sugar
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

How- to:
1. In a medium bowl, combine sugar with orange zest to perfume then add eggs, oil, milk, triple sec, and orange juice
2. In a large bowl sift together dry ingredients
3. Mix wet ingredients into dry
4. Prepare you pan(s) for cake or cupcakes with either baking spray or liners and fill with batter*
* fill cake tin 1/2 way full, fill cupcake liners 2/3 full
5. Bake cake for 50-60 minutes (check every few minutes after 50) and cupcakes for 15-17 minutes
6. While cake is baking, make glaze: whisk together orange juice, honey and orange zest. Stream in triple sec until desired consistency is reached (you want it to be like thin maple syrup)
7. Remove cake or cupcakes from the oven and immediately spoon the glaze on top
8. Make your sauce: In a small sauce pan over medium heat mix berries and sugar until mixture beings to bubble; add vinegar and mix to fully incorporate; continue stirring for 8-10 minutes over heat. Sauce will significantly reduce and thicken- this is good! Allow to cool before serving
8. Spoon strawberry sauce over cooled cake and enjoy!

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