This cake was the blissful final course of our most recent family-gathering-Sunday-supper-noise-and-nonsense. Everyone was here - sadly an increasingly rare event - which means a lot of activity. Three toddlers, one infant, and three more eight and under plus, of course, the eight attendant adults. The older cousins (Deacon, Aubrie and Jane) were excited to be re-united after several weeks and the weather was mild enough to invite them outdoors with the additional excitement of play with the next-door neighbours. Theo slipped off for a bit of "quiet time" in the office (we are still looking for a couple of items - lol), Ysa enjoyed her books and babies, while Kayden dashed madly from pillar to post to piano and back. The meal itself was a happy, busy, noisy affair - exactly the way I love it. But when this cake was cut and the first bites were taken .... it all stopped. All but the mmmmmmmmm's.
I expected the cake to be good from reading the recipe. I expected it to be interesting and flavourful. I didn't expect it to be a show-stopper. Every single one of us loved it and wished that there was more than a crumb left. Everyone but for Isaac - and he is too little yet to know what he is missing.
I made it again last night when we had dinner with a couple of good friends. Sunday I made it gluten-free, last night with regular wheat flour. I have to say that it was much better with the gluten-free whole grain flour mix I use. Regardless of dietary considerations from now on when I make this cake it will always be gluten-free. It was lighter and more moist - entirely better.
The cake is lovely but the topping? Divine! One lick and we knew that as devoted as we have been to cream cheese icing we are moving on. New love. Easy and refined-sugar free. Don't make the cake without it. The blueberries added the perfect little burst of sweet/tart.
Peace reigned for almost four minutes. Bliss.
olive oil almond orange cake with vanilla mascarpone
(adapted from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp freshly grated orange zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9" springform pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer whisk together the eggs and honey. Add the olive oil and whisk until the mixture lightens and thickens slightly. Whisk in the vanilla, then the orange zest, and finally the orange juice. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and fold in by hand until thoroughly combined. The batter will be thin. No worries. Pour it into the prepared pan and bake until the sides of the cake begin to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean - about 30 minutes.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently remove from pan and allow to cool completely.
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
2 cups mascarpone cheese
2 Tbsp honey
Use the back of a knife to scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean halves. Add the seeds to the mascarpone and whisk until fluffy. Whisk in the honey. Serve generous dollops with the cake and lots of blueberries.