Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Olive Oil Chocolate Pound Cake

I recently posted a great easy one bowl recipe for Banana Cake with Chocolate Chunks. One of the variations is to use oil. Quick breads and pound cakes --terms I use interchangeably--are often made with oil, so for flavor, it will depend on the oil.

If the focus of your quick bread (pound cake) is the oil, then, I advise you buy fresh extra virgin olive oil. If you have some olive oil on hand that you want to try, give it the sniff test. If it smells at all rancid, dump it, and buy new. There's nothing worse than spending time making a lovely Olive Oil Chocolate Pound Cake only to find that it tastes 'off'.  I found this recipe in the local paper, and I've now tried it with different olive oils and adapted it a bit, but so far I'm partial to a more robust extra-virgin olive oil for the its nutty buttery taste, but it's up to you. Experiment! 

I love to sample olive oil at the local farmers markets before I make a purchase Add to that, one of my favorite places is just down the hill --Amphora Nueva: Berkeley Olive Oil Works.  This is a fabulous specialty store focusing on Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils! The owners do produce their own olive oil, but they also feature other award winning Ultra Premium Extra Virgin olive oils. Patrons are welcome to try any and all of their oils. They post the harvest date on every oil in the shop, so you really know about the freshness. Amphora Nueva: Berkeley Olive Oil Works is located at 2928 Domingo Ave, Berkeley, CA. For the travelling foodie, it's worth a visit.

But back to the subject at hand.. Olive Oil Chocolate Pound Cake!


Extra-virgin olive oil for pan
1-1/3 cups + 1 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt  (I've tried different kinds sea salt, as well as Kosher salt)
1/2 cup unsweetened non-alkalized cocoa powder  (use the very best)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp pure Madagascar vanilla extract
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°.
Oil 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan (or a similar size).
Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder together, then sift again. Set aside.
In bowl of mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat eggs on medium speed until combined. Add sugar slowly, increasing speed to medium-high, and beat until mixture increases in volume and becomes pale (2 minutes). Reduce speed to low. Add vanilla extract. With mixer running, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with olive oil in 2 additions, starting and ending with dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Stop and scrape side of bowl as needed. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean (45-55 minutes). Do not overbake.
Cool cake in pan on rack about 15 minutes. Turn cake out of pan, turn right side up and cool completely.

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