So my fabulous sister Beth is in town this weekend, and we visited a store in the Arboretum called Con' Olio, where I was introduced to the world of flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars. We bought four bottles: Blood Orange Olive Oil, Basil Olive Oil, Cranberry Pear White Balsamic, and Dark Chocolate Dark Balsamic. Besides the delish dressing we made from the cranberry pear white balsamic to go with our spinach salad, we made the tremendous dessert below. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we enjoyed making and eating it!
Cake Recipe from the Con' Olio website:
7 ounces 70% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (4 oz.) Agrumato Blood Orange extra-virgin olive oil**
1 cup (7 oz.) granulated cane sugar, divided
5 large eggs at room temperature, separated
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Whipped cream for serving
**Note: We didn't know that the small bottle of blood orange olive oil we bought was only a 1/4 cup of oil, so we just added another 1/4 cup of regular olive oil. We think it turned out perfectly balanced -- and that maybe the full 1/2 cup of blood orange olive oil would have been too much.
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack positioned in the middle. Line the bottom of a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Put the chocolate in a large stainless-steel bowl and melt it over simmering water. Whisk it until it is smooth. Add the olive oil, whisking in a steady stream. Whisk in 2/3 cup of the sugar, the egg yolks, then the flour and salt.
Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed with the whisk attachment until they start to foam. Add about a third of the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. Beat until the whites become opaque, then add another third of the sugar. When the whites begin to increase in volume and become firmer, add the rest of the sugar and turn the mixer speed to high. Beat until the whites form soft peaks when the whisk is lifted from the bowl. They will still look slightly wet.
Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture in two additions. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until the cake is puffed and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean or with only a few crumbs clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes.
Let the cake cool completely, still in the pan, on a rack. It will deflate as it cools. Run a table knife around the
edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Peel off the parchment paper. Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature, with whipped cream and the marinated strawberries.
Marinated Strawberries with Chocolate Balsamic -- from our imaginations and a bit of websurfing
16 oz of strawberries, cleaned and halved (or quartered if they are large)
1/4 cup sugar
2 T. chocolate balsamic vinegar
Instructions: Combine the sugar and balsamic vinegar, and then add the strawberries. Marinate at room temperature for at least an hour, but no more than 4. Serve with yummy cake.