Baking is not my first love. Cooking is. And there is a difference. Baking is chemistry and cooking is alchemy :) Since I never did well in the sciences in school, I gravitate toward cooking where the preparation of dishes need not be too exact. In baking, it's a different story. But I do like to bake when I find a recipe that really excites me. And this one did. My friend Linda passed it on to me and I made a few of these for Christmas presents this year. This is one D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S cake! Seriously. It comes from the book In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories About the Food You Love, by Melissa Clark. I didn't have blood oranges but good navel oranges work just as well. I do hope you try this one. Actually, next time I make it, I'm going to use lemons in place of the oranges. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
3 blood oranges
1 cup sugar
Buttermilk or plain yogurt
3 large egs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used light olive oil)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. I used a decorative Bundt pan and it looked real pretty.
Grate the zest from 2 oranges and place in a bowl with the sugar. Using your fingers, rub the ingredients together until the orange zest is evenly distributed in the sugar.
Supreme an orange: Cut off the bottom and top so the fruit is exposed and the orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away the peel and pith following the curve of the fruit with your knife. Cut the orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Repeat with another orange. Break up the segments with your fingers. Halve the remaining orange and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup. You'll have about 1/4 cup or so.
Add the buttermilk or yogurt to the juice until you have 2/3 cup of liquid together. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the sugar and whisk well. Whisk in the eggs.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Switch to a spatula and fold in the oil a little at a time. Fold in the orange segments. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake the cake for about 50-55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes then unmold and cool to room temperature, right side up.
*Honey-Orange Compote - supreme 3 more oranges. Drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons honey. Let sit for 5 mintes, then stir gently.