Orange Olive Oil Cake
Breakfast in Italy is mainly a sweet affair. Cornetto (croissant) is the staple food in the morning at the bar with your cappuccino, while at home cake is wholly acceptable. So to balance our January reset and to bridge that Christmas feeling well into the new year, we are eating Orange Olive Oil Cake made with the most sensational oranges from the Librandi estate in Calabria and their exceptional olive oil.
The recipe itself is inspired by eclectic Australian food writer Julia Ostro, who learnt this from her time in Tuscany. It’s quite liquid (as it should be) so don’t use huge oranges – but do use all the rind.
Wash and cut 1 orange in thin slices.
In a wide pan slowly dissolve 200 grams of sugar in the water. Bring to a soft simmer and place the orange slices in the water, making sure they don’t overlap, for 20 minutes. Turn the orange slices around and cook for another 20 minutes. Once the rind is translucent and the water thick and syrupy place the slices on a wire-rack to cool down.
Keep the syrup for later use. Preheat the oven at 180 C and grease a tin.
Zest two oranges and mix the zest with the remaining sugar in a bowl. Take your time here and enjoy the fragrance. Add the eggs and beat well, then add the milk, the juice from the the zested oranges and the olive oil.
In a separate bowl sift the flower, then add the liquid ingredients, mix well and pour into the baking tin. Cook for about 40 minutes, then take the cake out of the tin and let cool completely.
Once everything is cool, top the cake with the orange slices and add drizzle a bit of syrup.