Olive Oil Cake

You can take your skeptical face off now. This recipe came from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain, one of my favorite baking books (see: chocolate chip cookies the size of your palm with bittersweet chocolate and whole wheat flour; ginger peach muffins). So you see, I have faith, and you should too.

I was looking for something I could bake that wouldn’t require me to leave the house to buy buttermilk or heavy cream; I could have made muffins with yogurt, but I wanted to make something new. So I checked my cabinets to see what kind of flours I had on hand, then leafed through Ms. Boyce’s book, and – given my ingredient constraints – decided upon the olive oil cake. It looked interesting; plus, it called for fresh rosemary, and my rosemary plant is the only herb still soldiering on from the summer, so I like to use it when I can.

I’m happy to report that the cake is a success. It’s kind of reminiscent of banana bread, except instead of the banana flavor, it’s olive oil and rosemary; maybe it’s just the texture (moist – sorry for those of you who hate that word beyond all reason) and the chocolate that remind me of it. In fact, if banana bread and pumpkin bread are breads instead of cakes, so is this.

Also, y’all, this cake/bread has no butter: that’s right, I baked a thing that does not have butter in it. Most probably major world upheaval is in the cards – it is 2012 now, after all. You should probably prepare by baking this cake.

Thanks to Tim for the new pie dish!

What I’m reading: The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton; The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell


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