Wednesday, June 18, 2014

olive oil cake with strawberry rhubarb compote.

I know I should be sick of rhubarb.  I think most people would be after consuming some variation of it everyday for a month.  Alas, I am not like most people.  I continue to crave it.  The season is fleeting so I might as well embrace it.  

I hope you are not sick of it as of yet because I have a new recipe!! (Do I sound like a rhubarb broken record as of yet?)

The zucchini olive oil cake that I posted about here is my olive oil cake soul mate.  It's crunchy and hefty.  The kind of cake you bring as a housewarming gift or on a picnic. It freezes brilliantly.  It's everything I want in a cake. I never thought I could fall for another olive oil cake they way I've fallen for that one.  Alas, I discovered this recipe and now there may be a little bit of friendly olive oil cake competition in our house.  

This cake is everything the zucchini cake is not.  It's light.  Oh so light! Each bite manages to melt on your tongue in a sea of citrus and rosemary.  You may think I am lying but you could quite possibly eat this entire cake in one sitting (not that I recommend you do such a thing).  The compote turns this into a dinner party worthy dessert (or even a fancy-shmancy brunch dish).  The strawberries and rhubarb break down into a puddle of blindingly red deliciousness that when spooned over the cake, manages to infiltrate each and every crevice with tart fruit.  It's kind of magical.  .  

I was going to have a showdown but I have decided it's best to declare this a tie.  

Olive Oil Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
Recipe from Curtis Stone

For the Cake

Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs 
1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Compote

12 ounces slender rhubarb stalks (about 3), cut into 2- by 1/3 -inch-thick sticks
1 pound fresh strawberries, halved
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

To make the cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick olive oil cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray the paper with nonstick olive oil spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and rosemary. Add the orange and lemon zest then rub the mixture between your fingertips until it is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs ad using an electric mixer beat on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, or until pale and thick. Beat in the milk. Gradually beat in the olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture just until blended. Spread the batter in the pan.

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached. Let cool in the pan on a wire cake rack for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack and remove and discard the paper. Invert the cake, right side up, onto a cake plate.

Meanwhile, make the compote. In a large heavy skillet, bring the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring often. Continue to cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the juices thicken slightly and the rhubarb is falling apart. Let cool.

Sift confectioners' sugar over the cake. Cut the cake into wedges, place on dessert plates, and spoon the compote on top. Drizzle a little olive oil around the cake and serve.

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