Archive for the 'Olive Oil Cake' Category

06
Jan
11

Olive Oil


Ever since this past Kosherfest, we are getting quite a few questions about olive oil. There were a few olive oil producers at the show and apparently people got very interested in their products. Just as we finally thought we’d better blog, explain and demystify olive oil, we came across this superb post by Chef Laura Frankel – who explains it far better than we could – on her blog:

From lauraskosher.com, Chef Laura Frankel's blog

OLIVE OIL 101

Olive oil is the fruit oil obtained from the olive. Commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, soaps and fuel for lamps, olive oil is grown and used throughout the world but especially in the Mediterranean.

Olive oil is produced by grinding or crushing and extracting the oil. A green olive produces bitter oil and an overripe olive produces rancid oil. For great extra virgin olive oil it is essential to have olives that are perfectly ripened.

Purchasing olive oil and knowing how to use it can be confusing. Add to that, the kashrut factor and it is no wonder that consumers and home cooks are bewildered by the array of products on supermarket and specialty market shelves.

Here is a summary of olive oils and their uses:
• Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries. The superior fruity flavor makes this oil best used for vinaigrettes, drizzling on soups, pastas for added richness and a fruity taste and for dipping breads and vegetables. Extra virgin olive oil does not require hashgacha (even for Pesach) as it is cold pressed.
• Virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 2%. This oil is best used for sautéing and for making vinaigrettes. It is generally not as expensive as the extra virgin olive oil but has a good taste. Does require hashgacha.
• Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil. This oil is perfect for sautéing. It does not have a strong flavor and can be used for making aiolis and cooking. Does require hasgacha.

Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil. It is typically more expensive than other olive oils. Extra virgin olive oil is typically not recommended for high heat cooking. Every oil has a smoke point. A smoke point refers to the heat temperature at which the oil begins to break down and degrade. An oil that is above its smoke point not only has nutritional and flavor degradation but can also reach a flash point where combustion can occur. You can observe this when you have a very hot pan and hot oil and food is added to the pan and it produces a bluish and acrid smelling smoke or worse yet, catches fire.

Extra virgin olive oil has a very low smoke point of 375. I use my best extra virgin olive oil for making vinaigrettes, adding luxurious fruity flavor to pasta dishes, garnishing foods, baking and dipping breads.
Extra virgin olive oil has a long list of health benefits from reducing coronary artery disease and cholesterol regulation.

My favorite extra virgin olive oil is an unfiltered oil from Spain. It is rich, luscious and smells like artichokes and tomatoes. I recently tasted an oil from France that was rich and buttery. Olive oils like wines have a distinct taste or terroir depending upon where they are grown. I urge home cooks to shop the specialty and gourmet shops for their olive oil. The supermarket oils are often lacking in flavor and are frequently misleading in the origin of the olives. The bottle may say that the oil was bottled in Italy but not mention where the olives were grown. The olives could have come from many different countries and in different stages of ripeness which yields an off tasting oil.
Estate grown oils are picked at the perfect stage of ripeness and pressed right after harvest. This ensures a balanced oil that is luscious.

Baking with olive oil is easy and yields a moist delicious cake. I use Meyer lemons in this recipe. Meyer Lemons are a cross between a tangerine and a lemon. They are sweet and very juicy. They are in season now and can be found at most markets around the country.

MEYER LEMON-OLIVE OIL POUND CAKE

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer Lemon zest
  • ¼ cup Meyer Lemon juice
  • ¾ cup
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a tube pan and set aside.

  1. Whisk together olive oil, sugar, eggs and milk.
  2. Gently stir in flour, salt and baking powder until a thick batter forms.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 50-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Lemon Glaze

  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup or brown rice syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean, scraped
  1. Simply combine all ingredients together in a large and heavy saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until the mixture reaches 110 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  2. Pour evenly over cooled cake and allow to harden before serving.

Enjoy the cake recipe and your use of olive oil whether in your salads or anything else.

CS

RELATED POST

Olive Oil Orange Cake

16
Nov
10

Olive Oil Orange Cake


Chef Mark Green of Glatt A La Carte, always wanted to be a hockey player and even got a scholarship to play at Saranac in Upstate new York. Unfortunately he got hurt while playing, with his sports dream over he majored in art and photography.

After graduating from the New York Restaurant School, in 1982, Chef Mark spent the next 7 years as sous-chef at Club Med in Aruba. He did stints as Main Chef for the Divi Divi Beach Hotels in the Netherlands and the Antilles but came back to the US, eventually opening Glatt A La Carte, as Executive Chef, over 10 years ago.

He has graciously given us his recipe for a delicious, easy to make cake:

Portuguese Olive Oil Orange Pound Cake

Delicious... is an understatement!

Yields: 10 to 12 servings

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
  • 5 eggs

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • zest of 3 oranges

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of orange juice

Directions

  1. Beat eggs lightly in large mixing bowl.
  2. Slowly add sugar to the eggs until light colored and thicken into a ribbon consistency.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add orange juice to egg mixture.
  5. Mix until fully incorporated.
  6. Add olive oil and flower alternating little by little into egg mixture until fully incorporated.
  7. Mix until it becomes a nice batter with ribbon consistency.
  8. Mix zest into batter.
  9. Take a Bund pan and spray it with cooking spray.
  10. Pour batter into Bund pan.
  11. Bake at 350 F for 1:15 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.
  12. Cool for 30-60 minutes.
  13. Combine glaze thoroughly and drop on cake.

I’ve tried Chef Mark’s recipe, both at the restaurant and at home, it’s very good. Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

Portuguese Olive Oil Orange Cake

15
Nov
10

Pardes Restaurant


Pardes Restaurant‘s Chef/Owner, Moshe Wendel, opened this new eatery on October the 24th (497 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11217; Tel: 718.797.3880), barely three weeks ago. Chef Moshe’s culinary talents and passion for food, along with the friendly enthusiasm of his tight-knit staff result in a successful venture. Through the years, he carefully and methodically honed his skills. Starting out as a dishwasher at age 16, he climbed through the ranks through various prestigious establishments such as Philadelphia’s celebrated Django restaurant. Moshe and his wife Shana became ba’alei tshuvah, and rushed back east to cook for Mosaica and Mike’s Bistro. He opened Basil as Executive Chef, stayed there for a short while, and is now fulfilling his own dream of owning a top kosher restaurant.

Small, warm, very welcoming

Moshe had a clear vision for Pardes. Located in an area filled with art galleries, bookstores, fashion shops and assorted eateries featuring every kind of cuisine, Pardes became an extension of the chic, upscale, urban cool mix. My companion (SYR could not make it this time) and I got there at around 3:00pm,  Lunch to Dinner transition time…

I ordered the Home Made Bouquerones [house cured white anchovies], with Red Pepper, Caper Berries, Arugula, Lemon Dressing.

Home Made Bouquerones with Arugula

With a hint of spiciness and ample richness of flavor, the well appointed dish was a perfect intro to the rest of the meal.

My companion chose the Tuna Crudo, with Porcini Popcorn,  Arugula and Corn Coulis. She found it beautiful to look at and extremely flavorful.

Nile Perch, Poached in Hazelnut Garlic Broth, “Risotto” of White Asparagus, Granny Smith Salad was my next choice. Again… the unusual mix of seasonal flavors were refreshing & delightful! My companion opted for the Saffron Linguine, Mojama, Almonds & Chiles. A spicey delectable mix of flavors, nicely presented.

Next we both had their Spicey-Smokey Chicken “Wings”, Red Pepper Saffron Vinaigrette, Tomato salad with Herbs, Preserved Lemon, Green olive and Jalapeno…

Close-up of one of the Spicy-Smoked Chicken "Wings" With red Pepper-Saffron Vinaigrette

Check this out!  A real treat for the taste buds!  We were instructed to place the meat into our mouths and then press the spice filled pipette releasing the wonderful burst of flavours… Pretty outrageous!

For the mains we shared both the Pizza of Beef Tongue Confi, With 24 Hour Roasted Tomato and Fresh Basil….

Pizza Beef Tongue Confi

…and the Short Ribs & Broccoli Rabe Lasagne.  The meat Pizza tasted sinfully delicious; the thin crust and beef tongue confi made the cheese topped pizzas, I’m used to, almost irrelevant. The Short Ribs Lasagne, was unusually tasty but had a rather limp presentation compared to the other dishes we sampled.

For dessert, we had the (“Manna” Bee Pollen Dusted Angel Food, Quince, Honey Ice Cream, Sugared Almonds and Olive Oil Cake, Chocolate Flan, Espresso Flavored Marron Glaces) all quite tasty – even gifted – although presentation was lack-luster. All in all, we were treated to an outstanding meal and each of us gave it two big thumbs up! In a lesser restaurant we might even have praised the minor negatives we encountered here.

Next time I’ll order from their ample beer selection, as well.

I was very gratified to see our favorite Chef, Lévana, shares our overall view after going to Pardes the evening after we did.

CS
Pardes Restaurant on Urbanspoon




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