Back when I lived in New York, my friend took me to Maialino and I tried olive oil cake for the first time. Since the restaurant is well known for its olive oil cake I am now spoiled and no other olive oil cake will ever compare. For many the idea of mixing olive oil in cake is odd but I promise that past the crackly shell you will find the perfect moisture and flavor. Food 52 has the Maialino recipe up on their website but I put a little twist on it by adding edible flowers and spices that I brought back from a little epicerie in France.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tbsp. of grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau (Rhum will work as well)
1 tsp. of edible flowers/spices
Heat the oven to 350° F (180 °C). Butter a muffin pan if you are doing individual sizes or a 9-inch cake pan that is at least 2 inches deep if doing a whole cake and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. In another bowl, whisk the olive oil, milk, eggs, flower/spice mix, orange zest and orange juice along with your alcohol of choice. Add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
Pour the batter into the cake or muffin pan and bake for 1 hour, until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool on a cooling rack.
Make a little whipped cream with the flavor of your choice to top the cakes.
If not topped with frosting it will last a few days in the fridge and can keep for months in the freezer.