Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The most versatile cake imaginable

I hope you'll like the idea of this cake as much as I do.  Its versatility appealed to me immediately, but now that I've made it, it's become a dear friend because it's just so delicious.  And easy!  Embarrasingly easy.  Probably easier than using a cake mix.  Really.

My friend Annette Grant, she of the endlessly quirky recipes, passed this on from her friend Natalie Boyce, to whom I am indebted for the favor.  This is one of those recipes that can be as varied as your imagination allows.  Listed below is the "master" recipe, which should be used as a starting point.  And because it uses olive oil, it can remain almsot forever moist.

Natalie Boyce's Olive Oil Cake as Delivered by Annette Grant

1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 c sugar
1/4 c cocoa
1/2 t salt

2 T vinegar
1 t vanilla
1 c water
1/3 c olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter a suitable cake pan.

Whisk dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix in liquid ingredients. 

Bake 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool on rack and remove from pan after about 20 minutes.  You can drizzle some simple syrup over it or frost it or just leave it as it is.

Now, here's the fun part.  If you don't want a chocolate cake, eliminate the cocoa and substitute 1/4 c flour. 

Don't bother with the water--use something sexier.  I used black cherry juice the first time--whoosh!  Pear or peach juice would be fun, too. 

Next time I'm going to use a cup of coffee for a mocha cake. 

You can add nuts or coconut or dried fruit....you get the idea? 

The basic recipe is the blank canvas.  The rest is up to you and your imagination. 

Have fun!

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