It's snowing out. That means I'll either be making a stew or a soup for dinner... but that's later.
This is now and I have a jar of NY Buzz honey in my possession , patiently waiting for me to use it in a way that will be worthy of its deliciousness.
Olive oil cake it is!
Here's a really quick and easy version for you with an absolutely dreamy honey syrup to drizzle on top.
FOR THE CAKE
3 cups all purpose flour (and two tablespoons for prepping the pan)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk (any fat content) at room temperature
1/4 cup brandy or orange liquor
1/4 cup orange juice
zest from one lemon
3 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 whole cloves
2 strips of orange or lemon zest
Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil the bottom and side of a cake pan, cut out a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place in the oiled pan. Oil the parchment paper and dust with two tablespoons of flour.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in one bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine milk, brandy, orange juice and lemon zest.
In a third, large bowl, combine eggs and sugar and beat with a whisk until smooth. Gradually add the olive oil to the egg and sugar mixture, and continue beating with the whisk until well emulsified.
Add liquid ingredients to the egg/sugar/olive oil mixture, combine well and then add the dry ingredients, one third at a time, combining well in between each addition. Don't overbeat, just make sure the ingredients are well combined and the batter is smooth.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for one hour and ten minutes.
While the cake bakes, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, water, orange zest and cloves and bring to a low simmer. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
When the cake is done, let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Place a large platter or cutting board over the cake pan and invert the cake. Peel away the parchment paper and, using another platter or cutting board (a cookie sheet will do as well) invert the cake again.
Drizzle the syrup onto the cake.
Also known as the Christmas cookie, Melomakarona are a popular treat any time of the year. Use your favorite honey (we love our local NY Buzz summer and fall variety).
They are also one of the easiest cookies to make. Traditionally, they are formed in a sort of flattened oblong shape but we make them in small bites. You really just need one to be satisfied but, heck, it's the holidays, have a bunch!
Melomakarona (Honey and olive oil cookies)
For the cookies For the syrup
1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cognac* 1 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
zest from one orange For topping
1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
3 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Warm oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine extra virgin olive oil, sugar, cognac, orange juice, zest and cinnamon. Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture a cup at a time. Knead dough for a few minutes (by hand or with a dough attachment if using a mixer) until smooth. Check consistency and add more flour if needed. Form dough into oblong shape (about a quarter of cup at a time) and place on baking sheet; press to slightly flatten the cookie. Bake approximately 20-25 minutes.
While cookies bake, combine ingredients for the syrup and bring to a boil on the stovetop; boil for 5 minutes. Remove the foam that will form on top. Remove cookies from oven and place in a rimmed dish, pour hot syrup so that the cookies are half immersed in syrup. Let stand for 10 minutes. Drizzle more syrup over the cookies and immediately sprinkle with crushed walnuts. Enjoy!
* If preferred, 1/4 orange juice can be sustituted for the cognac.