Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake (from A Splash of Something)

¾ cup olive oil (I used extra-virgin for its fruitiness, but regular olive oil works, too.)

1 large lemon, zested and juiced

1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)

5 eggs, separated, reserving 1 white (you’ll only need 4 whites)

¾ cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons sugar

Put oven rack in middle position, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with oil, then line the bottom with a round of parchment. Oil parchment, too.

Whisk lemon zest together with flour. Reserve juice for later.

Beat together egg yolks and ½ cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric or standing mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, drizzle in olive oil (3/4 cup) and reserved lemon juice, and beat until just combined. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in flour mixture (do not beat) until just combined.

Beat eggs whites (from 4 eggs) with ½ teaspoon salt in another bowl with clean beaters until foamy, then add ¼ cup sugar a little at a time while continuing to beat until eggs whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Gently fold one-third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, and then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. (The batter should look like it has about doubled)

Transfer batter to springform pan, and gently tap against work surface a few times to release air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 ½ tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. (Keep an eye on it after 25)

Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around edges, and remove side of pan. Cool cake to room temperature (takes about an hour), then remove bottom of pan, and peel off parchment. Transfer cake to serving plate. Serve dusted with powdered sugar, or with berries and whipped cream, or plain. Your choice!