Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary Honeyed Ricotta

I am, admittedly, not much of a baker. Though I adore the occasional cookie baking party- that usually involves a party of one, mainly myself- I tend to stick to cooking and leave dessert up to Ben and Jerry.

But wow, this cake...... I'm pretty happy with it! And so is my husband. You can experiment with a cake like this, and add currants, pine nuts, candied orange peel, or maybe even meyer lemon to this- sky's the limit!

Here goes:

For the Cake:

1 tbs butter to grease cake pan

1 & 1/4 cup flour, plus a smidge for dusting the pan

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

2 eggs

1 tsp almond extract

a few drops vanilla extract

zest of one tangerine- save 1 tbs for the ricotta- plus half it's juice

2 tbs lemon zest

For the Ricotta:

one cup fresh ricotta- not Polly-O, per pieta!- from your local Italian deli or grocery

the other half of the tangerine, and the tbs of zest reserved from earlier

two tbs dark local honey

two sprigs fresh rosemary


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Mix together the sugar and eggs in a large bowl. Add olive oil, almond extract, vanilla extract, lemon and tangerine zests, and half the tangerine juice. Little by little, incorporate the dry ingredients- the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt- in stages so as not to clump the batter.

Pour into your cake pan, pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes.

While the cake is in the oven, take out your ricotta and put it into a bowl. Drizzle in the honey and stir. Chop the rosemary and the tangerine zest into tiny, tiny TINY pieces, and mix into the ricotta along with the juice from the other half of the tangerine.

Once cake is done, let stand for 10 minutes. Dust some powdered sugar on top with a sifter if you'd like- serve with ricotta on the side, and some tangerine slices.

And.....commence falling in love with olive oil cake. Buon appetite!