Participation in the competition “ExtraDOLCEMENTE” held in Pisa, has allowed me to experiment in the use of olive oil in baking. Extra virgin olive oil is the basis of my kitchen and it is found in the recipes I publish on the blog. The culture of olive oil comes from the days of my attendance at the University of Florence. The family I was staying was not particularly passionate about cooking, but olive oil was excellent. So even if I was more familiar with food from Friuli that uses a lot of butter, I realized the importance of this ingredient for health and taste of food. I thought that Tuscan olive oil, with its herbaceous and fruity taste, could paired well with fruit and spices.
The cake that I propose was tasted by my family last Sunday, when we had a coffee in the garden on the last sunny warm autumn day. The consistency and the scent of this dessert was unusual and they were therefore curious to know the secret ingredient. After trying it and having appreciated the taste I found that the ingredient that was unusual was extra virgin olive oil.
On this occasion I used the oil from the farm of “Cesare Bonamici” of Fiesole. The oil is a mix of: leccino, maurino, moraiolo and pendolino. Since the flavor was very grassy, I thought I’d use a little chickpea flour because it has the characteristic taste of raw vegetables.
PEAR AND OLIVE OIL BUNDT CAKE
Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour
(For 12 people)
4 whole eggs
150 gr. raw cane sugar
50 gr. granulated sugar
150 ml. Tuscan extra virgin olive oil
100 gr. peeled and toasted hazelnuts
50 gr. chickpea flour
150 gr. Manitoba (high gluten) type of flour
100 gr. flour cornstarch
400 gr. Doyenne du Comice pears
1 pinch of turmeric
1 cardamom pod
1 packet of baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
1 heaping tablespoon of powdered sugar
- Whisk together the hazelnuts, the two types of sugar, turmeric, and cardamom.
Pour the mixture into a mixer or bowl and add the eggs, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and mix at low speed. Add, while the whips rotate, the olive oil slowly, increase speed to medium and let mount for about ten minutes.
- Mix the flour with the baking powder, return to low speed and add spoonfuls of flour. Stir for another minute. The dough should be smooth.
Turn on the oven at 350F. Brush a silicone bundt cake mold with olive oil.
- Peel the pears and cut into small cubes. Remove the mixture from the mixer, add the pears to the mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Pour into the mold and bake for one hour. Make sure that the cake is cooked by inserting a toothpick which should come out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake rest for a little while in the mold. Finally, turn it upside down on a cake stand and when it is cold sprinkle with powdered sugar.