Lemon Olive-Oil Cake

 Lemon Olive-Oil Cake (Gourmet April 2006)

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for greasing pan
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising) (If you do not have cake flour measure out 1 cup all-purpose flour, take out 2 Tbs and replace it with 2 tbs of cornstarch)
  • 5 large eggs, separated, reserving 1 white for another use
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Special equipment: a 9-inch (24-cm) springform pan; parchment paper

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease springform pan with some oil, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Oil parchment.

Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons and whisk into the flour. Halve lemon and squeeze 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.

Beat yolks and 1/2 cup sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil and lemon juice, beating until just combined the mixture may appear separated. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, do not beat.

Beat the egg whites from 4 eggs with 1/2 teaspoon salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.

Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Transfer batter to springform pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan. Cool cake to room temperature, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment, then transfer cake to a serving plate.
 
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