AF says that I am a dessert snob, which isn’t entirely fair. True, I can be a harsh critic of sweets, but only because I have spent a good deal of time, ahem, refining my dessert palate. And, of the things I’ve learned in my personal, very unscientific study of the matter, the most important is that I like my cakes made with oil, not butter. And with maple syrup, not sugar. Basically, I like this cake.
This is it. Infinitely-adaptable, not-too-sweet, perfect-everyday.
I arrived at this recipe after two years of tweaking the [already very good] original. And, let me tell you, two years = a lot of cakes.
Besides the major structural changes I’ve implemented [maple syrup in place of sugar; yogurt in place of milk; whole wheat flour in place of spelt flour; dropping the number of eggs to two], I have substituted any number of things for Boyce’s bittersweet chocolate & fresh rosemary combination. Fresh cranberries are superb, as is the zest + juice of a Meyer lemon. I never shop for this cake; its evolution was based on my desire for a sweet treat that I could make any time an impromptu cake was called for [once a week or so, in my experience].
Olive Oil Cake
Generously adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup olive oil (I use Cento, as it is usually what I have on hand)
3/4 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
5 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate or 1 cup fresh cranberries or the zest + juice of one Meyer lemon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate (and, large) bowl, whisk the eggs. Add in the maple syrup, olive oil, and yogurt and mix well. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined. Pour batter into your favorite cake pan (I use a 9 1/2 inch Pyrex pie plate with 2 inch sides). Bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, straight from the pan.