Monday, February 28, 2011

A Visitor in the Kitchen Part II: Dessert

Dessert on Display (and me sitting back to enjoy)
      I do not believe that a meal is complete without dessert. My roommate AT asked me yesterday what food I would pick if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life. My answer? Something sweet. I don't think I could live without cakes and cookies and chocolates; my sweet tooth is far larger than my um... love... of healthy living. But, just because I like sweet things, doesn't mean that the desserts I like are always overwhelmingly sweet. The cakes I have made so far are good everyday cakes, the kind you could have for breakfast or with a cup of tea. The cake I am making today falls right into this category, it has the same amount of deliciousness with an extra dash of sophistication.

     What cake is this? Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake. You know, I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and I knew right away that I had to make it. I haven't had an olive oil cake for a long time, and the lovely fragrance of the oil really elevates the homey-ness of loaf cake. Apparently, other people don't feel the same way. People were so confused when I told them what I would be making. Apparently olive oil cakes are not common? Apparently people are not sure what blood oranges are and many people have never had one? I guess I am a foodie after all.

     I was actually almost positive I would be making this cake without the blood oranges because where in the world would I buy blood oranges? Reading Terminal, apparently. It is the best place ever, do not ever come to Philadelphia without visiting it. Anyway, point being, after my little Chinatown trip with PN, we went to Reading Terminal and ate a scrumptious apple dumpling, and I bought more fruits and veggies. And blood oranges! Aren't they just gorgeous?

     Everyone who has not had a blood orange really should. They are milder than regular oranges and generally sweeter, but if you put them in dishes, or make a sauce from them, or just cut them up and then stare at them for a bit, their color alone is worth it.

     Making the cake was tons of fun with Katch around. She took so many amazing pictures I didn't know which ones to choose! We listened to high quality music (Disney songs), and I danced around because that is what I do in the kitchen, and apparently I can't stop myself even when other people are around. I also made up an absolutely delicious sauce using fresh blackberries and the leftover blood orange. Then, once the dancing and the orange cutting and the sauce making was all over, we ate cake!

     It was ridiculously moist, it had that depth of flavor from the olive oil (Katch couldn't taste the oil, so if you have never had an olive oil cake just know the flavor is not overwhelming, it just adds another tone to the cake), and it had that sweet citrus taste. The little orange segments in some of the slices were amazing too, next time I make it I might just add more so I don't have to hunt for them. Though, if hunting always involves eating more pieces of cake till I got to a part with orange segment, so be it. The blackberries also worked amazingly in the sauce, which added a whole new sweet tanginess to my creation. I love dessert, don't you? And definitely look at Katch's blog for her account of cake making:!

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake with Blackberry Honey Sauce 
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

For Cake: 

3 Blood Oranges
1 cup Sugar 
1/2 cup Plain Yogurt 
3 large Eggs 
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour 
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt 
1/4 tsp Baking Soda

     First, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and butter the loaf pan. Next, pour the sugar into a large bowl. Grate the zest from 2 of the oranges and put the zest in the bowl with the sugar. Rub sugar and zest together with your fingers so the zest is distributed throughout the sugar. Then, supreme the two oranges. To supreme: cut the top and the bottom of the orange so that it can stand upright and you can see the fruit inside. Following the curve of the orange, cut the peel and pith away from it. Then, cut the segments of orange out of the connecting membranes and let them fall into a small bowl. Halve the third orange and squeeze its juice into a measuring cup. You need about 1/4 of a cup of juice. Then, add the yogurt to the juice until you have 2/3 cup of liquid together, and mix them. Whisk the mixture into the bowl with the zest and sugar. Then, whisk in the eggs and olive oil. 

     In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Stir these dry ingredients into the wet ingredients gently. Lastly, fold the orange segments into the batter. Pour the batter into the loaf pan, and bake the cake for 50-55 minutes till the top is golden. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then unmold it onto the rack, allowing it to cool right side up for another 10 minutes. Cut, top with sauce, and enjoy!

Blackberry Honey Sauce

1 Blood Orange 
1 small box Blackberries 
2 tbsp Honey 
Black Pepper 

     Halve the blood orange and squeeze its juice into a small saucepan at medium heat. Next, add half of the blackberries to the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, squish the blackberries against the side of the pan. Alternately, squish them in your hand as you drop them into the saucepan, as I did. Stir in the honey, and allow the sauce to come to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add a dash of black pepper, and then stir in the rest of the blackberries. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes, and then serve. 


You could really make any sauce to compliment the cake, Smitten Kitchen made a blood orange honey compote. Use what you have on hand! 


  1. I've never had a blood orange, I need try them now. These pictures are awesome too!

  2. Yes you do! We should all go to Reading Terminal and get some. All thanks to Katch...I hope there are more such visits to come :D

  3. of's td-ss: item called fruitcake in bharat. love it. crave to have often looking frwd to td-sss visit home - march end.-- meanwhile with watering mouth . grandpa- baba

    of'sperhaps called fruit cake in