Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Olive Oil and Fresh Rosemary Cake

The clients were coming to our studio in the afternoon. Ever since I was a girl spilling chocolate on my little spiral bound Betty Crocker cookbook for kids (happily reissued in 2003, retro cover and all ), I look for excuses to exercise my oven skills. If you love to bake, sharing the bounty is key, or your future holds many shopping trips for new and ever bigger pairs of jeans. Clients in the studio are a perfect justification - and it's marketing right?

Apple cinnamon muffins are yummy, but muffins love mornings don't you think? Serving them in the afternoon seems vaguely embarrassing - like I have been caught wearing white shoes after Labor day.

After browsing a borrowed Babbo cookbook, I set my heart on making the Olive Oil and Fresh Rosemary cake. A cake baked in a loaf pan, without tons of sugar - a negotiation between a cake and a quick bread. Plus, and this is a big plus, it has ingredients that I always have on hand - eggs, olive oil, flour, sugar and rosemary from the front yard.

Just minutes after happy kitchen bustling began, "10 inch" loaf pan zoomed to my attention. I had a 9 inch pan. After a fleeting panic in which I considering stuffing it in anyway, I poured the extra batter into a second small pan and baked it for a shorter time. (The extra 1 inch high "cake" that resulted was a happy accident, tasting like dainty biscotti baked only once because you couldn't wait to eat them).

The cake? Delicious. Light and fluffy with a gentle rosemary fragrance and flavor. What did the clients think? Well, the two women liked it a lot - not too sweet, and extremely tasty they said. They took seconds. I looked expectantly at the guy, waiting for his glowing comments. Hey, he said. Did you put mary jane in this? I looked at him blankly. You know, marijuana.

Oh well. No accounting for taste. I think you'll love this cake. And I'm going to buy this cookbook.

From The Babbo Cookbook by Mario Batali pg. 287.

Serves 8 - 10
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a 10-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Using the whip attachment, beat the eggs in a mixer for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very foamy and pale in color. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Using a spatula, gently fold the rosemary into the batter.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is done when it is golden brown, springs back when touched, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool briefly in the pan, then tip out onto a cake rack to continue cooling.


Anonymous Paul said...

Sounds wonderful!

And, maybe it's just me, but I bet it would be good with mj. It might be good marketing, too (w/everybody rofl, about . . . something!)

Hey, cool blog and pictures.

As our gov says: "Aaahl be bok"
(if only he would go away, even for a little while)

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Gini said...

I made the cake and I kinda liked it..My husband loved it. It was for sure a different kind of cake! Thanks for the inspiration

11:42 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...


thanks for trying this out - and commenting! You don't often find rosemary in a cake, more often in a focaccia, but that's why I like this so much. I like it best for afternoon tea...

12:17 PM  
Anonymous jon o said...

made tonight as a side for some grilled salmon with meuniere sauce... very good. Made with 1/2 cup of polenta and about 2/3 of the sugar so it was more of a cornbread kinda-thing... very good. thanks for posting,

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try this--my husband and I had rosemary olive oil cake at a restaurant last week and they served it with balsamic-glazed strawberries, pistachios and whipped cream (like liquid cream that was hand-whipped, not CoolWhip). The presentation with the red berries and green nuts was beautiful if anyone wants to serve for a fancier dessert.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Learned a very similar recipe in culinary school. For a touch of extra sweetness, I pour a LIGHT lemon/10x glaze over the cake when it is still slightly warm. A raspberry coulis is also a nice option with fresh whole berries for garnish. I love this recipe.

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't made this cake yet, but had it last night at a great restaurant - it was fabulous with lemon sorbet on top! Can't wait to try this one!

7:03 AM  
Anonymous DebA said...

Delicious! I doubled the olive oil, added a little more sugar to balance the increase of oil and the zest of an orange.

3:25 AM  
Anonymous DebA said...

Delicious! I doubled the olive oil, added a little more sugar to balance the increase of oil and the zest of an orange.

3:26 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Orange and rosemary is an interesting combination. I'm going to try that some day.

8:07 AM  

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