Olive Oil Champagne Cake with Orange Basil Glaze

I know this combination may sound a bit unorthodox for a cake but I have been experimenting with savory flavors combined with sweet and have the say the results are delicious.  One of my success’ is a Chocolate Bay pots de crème.  As odd as it sounds, the bay leaf enhances the chocolate beautifully.  Look for it this fall.  In the meantime, give this Olive Oil Champagne Cake with Orange Basil Glaze a try.  The flavors of orange and basil marry perfectly to bring out fresh summer flavors and the addition of champagne to the cake batter adds another layer of brightness.   Not to mention, this cake goes together unbelievably fast!  Enjoy!!

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Olive Oil Champagne Cake with Orange Basil Glaze

1 1/2 c AP flour

2 1/2 t baking powder

Mix these together and set aside.

1 1/4 c granulated sugar

3 whole eggs

1/3 c champagne (don’t purchase anything expensive for this, if you have to buy any, get the cheapest.  I used some that I opened and didn’t like but had kept in the frig.  Other options are Chardonnay, Riesling or any white wine.  Once again, use what you have.  I keep wines that I open and don’t care for by my cooktop to add to foods as I am preparing.  The wines add another layer of flavor and things I don’t like for drinking seem to work beautifully in cooking.  So, if you open a wine and you don’t like the flavor, just hang onto it – you never know when you will have the opportunity to throw it into a sauce, over pot roast, with a chicken, or in this case in a cake!).

1/3 c olive oil

and the zest of one orange

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare a 9 inch cake pan by lining with parchment paper (bottom and sides) and buttering.  This will help prevent the sides of the cake from sticking and since you won’t be icing it, you will not have the ability to hide a scarred cake.

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Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and slowing add the sugar beating until the color becomes light yellow and creamy in appearance.

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Add the champagne and olive oil and mix until thoroughly combined.  Sift the flour and baking powder together and carefully fold into the batter in three equal additions stirring just until combined.   Pour the cake batter into the pan and place in the oven to bake for 25 – 28 minutes or until a pick comes out clean.

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Cool the cake then remove it from the pan to a platter.

Orange Basil Glaze

juice of one orange (about 1/2 c)

8 fresh basil leaves;  5 leaves Chiffonade (see Italian Chicken recipe), 3 crushed and ripped up

1 1/2 c powdered sugar

In a small sauce pan, warm the orange juice just until ready to boil (heavily steaming).  Add the crushed basil leaves and set aside to cool.  This will infuse the basil into the orange juice.

Place the powdered sugar into a medium bowl.  Add about 5 T. of the cooled orange juice and whisk until smooth.  Adjust the consistency with orange juice or powdered sugar until it is thick but still “pourable”.  Pour over the cake and top with the Chiffonade of basil and an orange zest curl if desired.  Serve.

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NOTE:  If you want to serve this cake for a brunch omit the glaze and serve with an orange and basil compound butter.





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