If February’s project was yeast breads, then March’s turned out to be quick breads.

Having just told you that I wanted to avoid oil in my banana bread, I made an about face turn and made a loaf cake whose star player is olive oil.  From the famous olive oil gelato at Otto to an increased association with cakes, I’ve been wanting to try making a sweet with this traditional savoury.  I’ve said before that I like baking with Dorie Greenspan.  So when I came across her olive oil recipe, I was definitely intrigued and had a feeling that she wouldn’t let me down.

It’s definitely a cake and could be nicely accompanied by a citrus sorbet or quick glaze like Sugar’s Tartine loaf.  What’s nice is that the flavour of the olive oil balances out the sugar, so you don’t get a too-sweet cake.  And the lightness of the lime offsets the cake’s more dense texture.  It went over well in the office as a belated St. Paddy’s Day treat, so I heartily encourage you to try it this spring.  The colour (from the oil and my omega 3 eggs) clearly evokes a warm sunny day.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Yogurt Loaf Cake
c/o Dorie Greenspan

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
0.5 cup plain whole milk yogurt
3 large eggs
0.25 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
0.5 cup extra virgin olive oil

Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a loaf pan, place the pan on a lined baking sheet and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and keep near by.

Put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and rub the ingredients together until the sugar is fragrant. Whisk in the yogurt, eggs and vanilla. When the mixture is well blended, gently whisk in the dry ingredients. Switch to a spatula and fold in the oil. The batter will be thick and shiny. Scrape it into the pan and smooth the top.

Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and starts to come away from the sides of the pan; a knife inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.

Dorie says you can keep the cake at room temperature for at least 4 days or freeze it for up to 2 months.

P.S.  It’s not oily.