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Thursday, November 3, 2022

Olive Oil-Walnut Cake with Pomegranate

 Here's a gorgeous and tasty cake which takes advantage of pomegranates, the most beautiful food.


Olive Oil-Walnut Cake with Pomegranate

Yield: 10 servings

Altitude adjustments for 4,000-5500 ft.:

Add 1 T flour
Subtract 1 T sugar
Decrease baking powder to 1 1/2 teas

For the cake:

1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 c AP flour (I used half kamut flour)
1 c walnuts, toasted
2 teas baking powder
1/4 teas salt
4 large eggs, separated
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 teas vanilla
2 teas orange zest

Preheat the oven to 350F. Oil (or spray with cooking spray) the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan or a 9-inch cake pan. Place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom and lightly oil it as well and set aside.

Grind the walnuts in a food processor until they are finely chopped. You want this to be like almond flour. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse a couple of times to mix. 

Whip the egg whites and set aside. Use a stand mixer and set them aside in a bowl or plate while mixing the batter or whip them with a hand mixer in a separate bowl.

Place the egg yolks and the sugar in the stand mixer's bowl and whisk on low until the sugar is dissolved. Then whisk at a higher speed until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, 3-5 minutes. Occasionally, scrape down the sides.

Add the buttermilk, vanilla, and orange zest and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture with mixer at low speed. Beat until combined, one or two minutes. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in the egg whites, first adding about a third to lighten the batter, then folding in the remainder until combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, place it on a cookie sheet and set into the oven on the middle shelf. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Test with a skewer or toothpick and when it comes out clean remove the cake and cool on a rack. If you used a cake pan, invert the cake onto a plate or cake platter. If you used a springform pan take the cake out. I'll admit that I liked the looks of the cake baked in the springform pan.

For the syrup:

1/2 c granulated sugar
1 c orange juice, freshly squeezed from 3 oranges
1 1-inch cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves

While the cake bakes, stir these ingredients together in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove the spices and allow to cool. The original recipe suggest you spread the cake with half the syrup and the spoon more over the cake at the time of serving. I just allowed diners to drizzle the syrup over their cake. 

Serve the syrup topped cake with Créme Fraiche, lightly whipped cream, or Greek yogurt and top with pomegranate arils. 

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