February 16, 2010 | Desserts
It’s rare, but every once in awhile I get the urge to bake something. Last week one of my Operation Frontline students asked me about substituting olive oil for butter in baking, and that inspired me to create this cake.A friend recently asked me where all of my recipes come from, how I create them. I usually start with something in mind – in this case a cake using olive oil instead of a less healthy fat where I would incorporate some whole wheat flour into it. Then I scan for base recipes - for this, I pulled my Lemon Thyme Cornmeal Cake post and an olive oil cake recipe, both of which were recipes from Giada. From here is where I got creative. I looked over these recipes for ideas on ratios (since I’m not a pastry chef) and decided that 1 1/2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 3/4 cup of olive oil would be the base. From there, I started playing.Beat together eggs with sugar and lemon zest until really fluffy. Add plain yogurt and olive oil.Mix dry ingredients together then add to wet ingredients with the mixer on low.Add thyme leaves and pine nuts and mix just to combine.Spray a round cake pan with cooking spray then pour the batter in and bake.Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes on a rack before inverting it onto a cake plate.Then decorate it with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and some thyme sprigs for garnish before digging in.
Olive Oil Cake with Pine Nuts, Lemon & Thyme
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from one lemon)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2/3 cup pine nuts
powdered sugar, optional, for garnish
Beat eggs with sugar until fluffy. Add lemon zest, oil, and yogurt and mix until combined. Stir together flours with baking powder and salt, then add to wet ingredients with mixer on low just until incorporated. Add thyme and pint nuts, mixing on low to combine. Pour into an oiled 8″ round cake pan and bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove to a cake plate. Dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired.