I realized something about myself today. Olive oil is my thing.
When I was 12 or 13, I received a spa cookbook for my birthday and became hooked on mixing up oatmeal masks, honey hair treatments and avocado masks. Why my 12 year old self needed any sort of facial mask is another story. But I think I just liked the idea of cracking eggs in my hair and slapping oatmeal on my face; it seemed so neat and kinda retro. Now, the thought of slathering avocado all over my face sounds sort of weird, and plus, I’d probably just end up eating it anyway, which is even weirder. I know.
Anyway, I didn’t think much of it when I picked this pound cake out of a book of 200 or so recipes. Lemon Olive Oil Pound Cake? I’m there. Sooo there. I then went to get ready for the day and grabbed my olive oil face wash and then put on this olive oil body lotion. And then I stopped. Whoa…I umm…really like olive oil. I guess I’m not so far off from my 12 year old self. I still put food on my face thinking it’ll make me pretty. Hmmm…interesting.
And my obsession with olive oil doesn’t stop with lotions. I love fish poached in olive oil, salmon especially. These olive oil pancakes still have my heart. I also wouldn’t dare fry up an egg in anything but olive oil. Not sure what to say. Olive oil is my thing.
Wanna know what’s not my thing? Measuring with my eyes. When I first read over this recipe I noticed the 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf measurement. I grabbed my pound cake pan out of the cupboard and sort of shrugged off the idea of it not being the right size. I figured it’d work out just fine. Wrong. Dead wrong.
When I realized my flub, I ran to the store and was sort of bummed when they didn’t have a real pan. My inner snob doubted the ability of the foil pan, but the cake came out perfect. It was moist, and delicious with a strong hint of olive oil and a whole lot of lemon flavor. Olive oil won’t ever let you down.
Lemon Olive Oil Pound Cake with Glaze
Recipe by Karen Demasco from The Craft of Baking
Makes one 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 – inch loaf
Unsalted butter, softened, for the pan
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, strained
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoons Demerara sugar (I happened to have this in my pantry, but if you don’t, not a big deal)
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of milk
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the bottom of 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, butter the pan and the paper.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring it to a simmer. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, and lemon zest. Set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until the mixture thickens, is pale yellow, and forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted, 5 to 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, milk, and lemon juice. When the egg mixture has thickened, slowly drizzle in the oil mixture with the machine running. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix just to combine. Drizzle in the butter and mix just to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the Demerara sugar. Bake, rotating the pan once after 40 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden, the center bounces back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean about 50 minutes. Unmold the cake from the loaf pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack. While still warm, prepare the glaze. Mix the water with powdered sugar until completely combined, without lumps. You might need to play with the consistency a bit to get it to your liking. Pour over the pound cake and let it dry, which should be fairly quickly. Once at room temperature, eat away!