Odd how I seem to be collecting these amazing cake recipes (cardamom cake, nutmeg cake, vanilla chocolate layer cake) because I never thought of myself as a cake person. So much for self-knowledge.
Here's Bittman's recipe, in my words:
ORANGE-OLIVE OIL CAKE
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 inch pan.
2. In a bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil with 3/4 cup sugar until creamy. It will be a beautiful celadon green color. Add 4 egg yolks and beat until thick and fluffy -- 7 minutes or so.
4. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter, along with 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice and 2 teaspoons grated orange zest.
5. In a separate bowl, beat 4 egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Now stir this gently but thoroughly into the batter. It's not really possible to "fold" the egg whites into the batter, which will be very dense and heavy. You'll worry about losing all the air in your egg whites, but just do your best and it should be fine. Pour into pan, and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Meanwhile, make a glaze by mixing 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar until smooth. As Bittman puts it, this "should be about the consistency of thick maple syrup." If it's too thin, add a bit more sugar, if it's too thick, a bit more juice.
7. Let the cake cool for a few minutes, then pour the glaze over the top while it's still in the pan. Cut into squares. Serves 12-16.
I've got it in my head that I want to try a grapefruit version of this cake. And tangerine.
So, this is the first real recipe on Tipsy Baker. I was worried about copyright infringement, but a few weeks ago a newspaper food editor told me it's permissible to replicate a couple of recipes from a book when writing a review. I sure hope she's right. I was tempted to post the recipe for Bittman's excellent vanilla-chocolate layer cake, but had some issues with the frosting and wanted something really perfect on which to spend my recipe allotment. This cake is really perfect.