Saturday, April 30, 2011

Olive Oil Cake with Cherries

This week has passed by so quickly that somehow I did not have much time to cook.  Still, as the weekend approached, I realized that I was craving something sweet that would not be too unhealthy.  I enjoy baking but I find that so many cake and cookie recipes call for too much butter.  And while the butter makes them good, I prefer to save these recipes for occasions when I can share said cake or cookies with many people to avoid the inevitable guilt that I would feel from eating more than I should!

I am always on the look out for a recipe sans butter or trying to find healthy ways to modify the butter out of a dessert recipe.  I came across this cake recipe online and decided to give it a try.  It is a simple sponge cake with fruit and it comes out moist and is a guilt free less-guilt inducing dessert!  For people who do not like cherries, it is easy to introduce a different frozen fruit into the topping recipe.

Olive Oil Cake with Cherry Topping
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma recipes

Butter to grease the pan
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350° F and butter a 9-inch springform pan 

In a medium size bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl use an electric mixer on low speed to beat the eggs until they are thick and pale yellow (about 3 minutes).

Continue beating the eggs and add the sugar until combined, followed by the olive oil.  Finally beat in the vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture and mix gently until the flour is incorporated.  

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

Cherry Topping

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 pound of frozen cherries
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the cherries, flour (it helps to thicken the sauce) and the vanilla and cook until the cherries are tender, about 5-10 minutes.

Pour the cherries sauce over a slice of cake and serve immediately.



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