Okay, I promise this will be the last recipe from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert for a while. The other books on my shelf are starting to get jealous. But I can’t help sharing with you this simple and gratifying recipe. No need to wait for the butter to soften – because it does not have any, no need to wait for the eggs to come to room temperature – because it emulsifies better into the mixture when cold, and it is so darn tasty and guiltless because it is made with heart-healthy olive oil. It is important to use fresh orange zest, I tried lemon and it was not as flavorful. The only work that might be considered extra is the sifting of the flour and zesting the orange but otherwise it’s a quick recipe.
And as Alice said,” Don’t be afraid to use olive oil!” And I must say I agree with her. You will be amazed at how good this pound cake tastes!
Olive oil and Sherry Pound Cake
From Alice Medrich’s “Pure Dessert”
3 cups (13.5 oz) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup flavorful extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp grated orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
5 large cold eggs
1 cup medium (amontillado) sherry
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven tot 350 °F. Grease and flour the pans. (Or, if you prefer, line the bottom and sides of the loaf pans with parchment.)
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt thoroughly in a large bowl and sift together.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (with the whisk attachment if you have one), beat the sugar, oil, and orange zest on high speed until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; continue to beat until the mixture is thick and pale, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and add half of the sherry. Beat just until blended. Repeat with another third of the flour, followed by the remaining sherry, and then the remaining flour.
Scrape the batter into the pan(s). Bake until the cake tester comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes for either the tube pan or the loaves. Cool the cake in the pan(s) on a rack for about 15 minutes before unmolding. Smaller pans, 30-35 minutes.
If using a tube pan, slide a skewer around the tube. If the sides of the pan are straight, slide a thin knife or spatula around the sides to release the cake (unless lined with paper). If using a Bundt or other decorative pan, tap one side of the pan against the counter to release the cake, then tap the other side. Invert the cake onto a rack. Turn the preferred side up before cooling the cake completely. Wrapped airtight, the cake keeps well at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.