One of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco used to have this unbelievably weird-sounding but unbelievably divine olive oil cake on their dessert menu, but it vanished at some point (fingers crossed that it’s a seasonal thing and will be back). So when I saw the olive oil almond cake recipe over at Sassy Radish‘s awesome food blog, I danced a happy, olive-oil-cake jig. (And while you’re checking out Sassy Radish, I highly recommend looking at the post about pearl onions braised in port. I haven’t made it yet, but a recipe for shallots braised in red wine — and a LOT of butter — from Roger Verge’s Vegetables in the French Style has been a staple of mine for years, and I have yet to meet the person who doesn’t like it. Port and pearl onions are clearly next.)
Anyway, while it sounds oily and unappetizing, olive oil cake is actually incredibly delicious, with a texture that somehow manages to combine lightness with density, and sweetness with not-too-sweetness. The olive oil adds this wonderful, almost floral, hint to the whole thing. Plus, as the Sassy Radish herself points out, it’s easy to make.