What better ingredient to make your pound cake moist and tasty than a healthy dose of extra-virgin olive oil–along with a delicious dash of spices.
Not long ago, I received a flyer in the mail that touted the benefits of Italian Extra-Virgin olive oil. I didn’t need convincing but I read on. There is apparently a marketing campaign underway “supported” by the European Union and Italy. Say no more! It’s official. The campaign supports Italy’s olive oil industry and its integrity. There’s a site they’ve created called Flavor Your Life that urges people to “trace your bottle of extra virgin olive oil back to where it all began.” Sort of like ancestry.com for olive oil.
Check out the site. It’s very compact and full of facts about the production of olive oil: how and where the trees are grown, how the olives are harvested and pressed, how the quality is tightly regulated along with pointers about the traceability of what you buy. They are protecting their brand. The flyer also offered a recipe for Olive Oil Pound Cake and I thank them for sharing this. I have reproduced the recipe here and I hope you like it.
Put Your EVOO To Work
The pound cake is really simple to make. Besides the oil, the cake is moistened with ricotta cheese and orange juice. The orange gives added flavor, along with the spices. If you have it on hand, grate fresh nutmeg into the batter although powdered will do. Also, if you don’t have ground cloves, you can easily skip that small ingredient. Just put your dry ingredients in one bowl, your wet ingredients in another. Carefully combine them and pour into a greased loaf pan and bake. Serve the cake sliced just by itself, with ice cream or dress it up with berries and creme fraiche. Toast it even then spread butter or jam on it.
You can eat this pound cake all day long–breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack–in fact I have eaten it all day long. But who knew you were supposed to take a breather!
Olive Oil Pound Cake
Yield: serves 10
Total Time: one hour, 15 minutes including bake time
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- 2/3 cup part-skim ricotta
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- Heat the oven to F. 350 degrees and spray a 9" x 5" loaf pan with cooking spray
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, sugar, olive oil, orange juice and orange zest until just, but well, combined
- Stir the ricotta mixture into the dry mixture until smooth and well-combined
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean
- Cool 5 minutes then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling then serve