Happy New Year, everyone!!
I celebrated by putting my computer in the shop for two weeks. So no blogs, no editing, etc. While I am seriously backed up now because my camera was NOT in the shop & I have 12,000 new photos to edit, it was nice to get off the technological hamster wheel.
I made 4,087 different kinds of cookies in December. I always, always do this. Just way too much, I spend too much and each year I swear it's going to be different. The thing is... I cannot... stop... baking!!! I'm taking photos as well but 'Damn, Gina!' I can't stop. I want to make everything.
I also really want to get better at bread this year. I used to do a bakery shift when I lived in Washington but it was on Mondays, the slowest day, and it was in the dead of winter. As long as I had my notes to 'do this, then this, then this, then this,' the loaves & baguettes turned out well enough. At the time, I didn't care too much about fermentation, starters or the process (huge keys to making good bread, mind you) but for whatever reason, I can't wait to get up in the morning to check my starter. (Like I don't have enough hands & paws grabbing at me- ha!)
When you're not on a schedule with already active starter, especially when it's cold out, it's a challenge to do at home with a baby. I'm still waiting on my starter to get on boarder. I rushed it and have had some failures. I'm finding my groove, my timeline of what works for me. And I bought some bread making 'accoutrement.' I'm not sure what the obsession is... I think I'm just really passionate? (I hope? lol) And I'm really excited to dive in the world of whole grains.
In the meantime, our local library in Waynesville has some amazing cookbooks! Usually they're all 1960's, 70's and 80's compilations of stuff that uses a lot of processed crap. Or they're so out of date with what's on trend now. However, they have a ton of really great stuff. I took home The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook and tried out a few of their non-yeasted recipes.
This is their 'Torta D'Olio D'Oliva,' an orange olive oil cake. It's delicious and super easy. I've tried other olive oil cakes that require a ton of steps and have various glazes. Those have turned out super delicious as well but here, you just put your wet and dry ingredients in two separate bowls. Combine and then whisk the hell out of it quickly & get it in a cake pan. 50 minutes at 350 & done! And the best part about olive oil cakes is that they last longer than typical cakes. :)
I'm also beginning to love our house. Lliam is almost finished with the bedroom-- just some trim and the book nook needs to be done. Then I'll do a video and show y'all! And we spent all last weekend painting the living room and kitchen white. It feels soooo good. All the crazy color is gone and there's sooo much more light!
Like this light! :)
As the sun begins to set, it hits the windows just right and creates these long, glorious beacons and shadows. I really wanted to play with it. A lot of food photography is either dark and moody or blasted white. I'm not really sure what my style is quite yet or if I'll ever have one-- ha! (Story of my life-- don't fit in, just be weird). So I just kind of do what I feel. And I love the contrast here.
Anyway, that's the scoop! The recipe is below. It's super delicious and moist, lots of flavor. The most difficult part is zesting oranges. Oh! And you can totally use lemon here interchangeably, too. I used both, in fact! So mine should be called a Citrus Olive Oil Cake, I guess. ;)
All right, folks! I'll be back soon. I have so much more to post on Christmas with recipes I never shared. Wah, wah... But I hope everyone is enjoying the New Year and holding space for what needs to be celebrated and let go.
Much love & abundance,
TORTA D'OLIO D'OLIVA
Orange Olive Oil Cake
1 1/4 c. plus 2 T flour (200 grams)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1 c. sugar (200 grams)
Grated zest of 2 large navel oranges
1/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
2 large eggs
2/3 c. whole milk
3/4 c. good quality extra virgin olive oil
Powdered Sugar (for dusting)
Sliced or Candied Oranges for decoration (if desired)
1) Pre-heat oven to 350. Line the bottom of an 8 inch cake pan with parchment.
2) Whisk the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, soda, salt) in a large bowl.
3) Whisk together the wet ingredients (sugar, zest, juice, eggs, milk and olive oil).
4) Make a well in the dry ingredients and fill with the wet ingredients. Use a rubber spatula and mix together quickly and until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and don't miss any clumps of flour. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake about 50 minutes The top will become golden brown.
5) Allow the cake to cool on a rack for a few minutes. Then run a knife or small spatula around the edges of the cake and turn out onto a plate. After cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and decorate with oranges.
6) EAT IT!!!! :)