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Orange-scented Olive Oil Cake

Adapted from a recipe in Saveur Magazine

Citrus of all kinds are in season during the winter months.  Now is the time to take advantage of these delicious fruits and allow them to take center stage.

In this recipe it’s easy to double the candied oranges, making enough for a second cake.  The original recipe also called for a 10-inch cake pan.  I used a 10 x 3-inch pan.  I’m glad that I did as the batter raised quite a bit.  And, the indentation seems to be begging for a few supremed orange segments.

2 oranges, preferably organic*
2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
Unsalted butter, for greasing
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
6 tablespoons fruity, extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Sea salt, for garnish

Trim about 1/2″ from the tops and bottoms of oranges and quarter oranges lengthwise. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan and add oranges. Bring water back to a boil and then drain. Repeat boiling process twice more with fresh water.  Put oranges, 1 cup sugar, and 4 cups water into a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and orange rind can be easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature.  This step can be completed up to a week in advance storing oranges in their syrup in the refrigerator.

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of a 10 x 3-inch round cake pan with butter.  Line bottom of pan with parchment paper, butter paper and dust with flour.  Set pan aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside. Remove orange quarters from syrup, remove and discard any seeds, and put oranges into the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse until oranges form a chunky purée, 10–12 pulses.  Add remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar, reserved flour mixture, vanilla, and eggs and process until incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Add olive oil; process until combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40–45 minutes.  Let cool for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk orange juice and confectioners’ sugar to make a thin glaze.  Remove cake from pan and transfer to a cake stand or plate.  Using a pastry brush, brush orange glaze over top and sides of cake; let cool completely.  Garnish cake with confectioners’ sugar, course flaked salt and supremed oranges if desired.