Look at me, I made a blog

September 6, 2010

Olive Oil Bundt Cake

Ever since i had a bite of Maialino's revelatory olive oil muffin, olive oil baked goods have been on my mind. Baking is not my forté and my last olive oil cake was painfully dry, but my new, unopened bottle of extra virgin olive oil was calling to me.

Not as full after the cup of oil that this cake recipe requires.

Frantoia EVOO is quite a splurge (even at a 50% discount), but it is a staple in my pantry. If it's good enough for Eric Ripert, then it's certainly worth trying. It is great for dressings and drizzling on top of anything, including your finger. The olive oil cake recipe that I decided to use calls for a Sicilian olive oil, so Frantoia seemed like a suitable alternative to Frankies EVOO, which seems to be available at the Food Coop. I may have to pick up a bottle sometime, after I finally visit Frankies 457.

This recipe yields a light, fluffy cake that would complement a cup of tea or coffee. Basically, it's a cake that I'm going to eat for breakfast. The tablespoon of orange zest gives the cake a hint of citrus flavor without overpowering the olive oil, which is truly the hero in this dessert. Although the original recipe says that the bake time is about an hour, I found that my cake was completely done at 45 minutes. It was a little overbaked, and i would have preferred to have taken it out at 40 minutes. Fortunately, the cake flour helped to keep it soft.

Olive Oil Bundt Cake
Adapted from Food & Wine

Serves 12 (Or 4... I definitely ate 1/4 of this cake by myself)

5 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.
2. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar and orange zest at medium-high speed until smooth. Gradually beat in the olive oil until creamy, about 2 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the cake flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating on medium speed between additions.
4. Scrape the batter into the bundt pan and bake in the center of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until done. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a rack. Let the cake cool completely before cutting into slices and serving.


September 2, 2010

The War on Drugs - The Rock Shop 08.31.10

It's funny how an album can slip through the cracks, only to be picked up over a year later and heard in a completely different light. One nice plus of having a blog is that it can serve as a personal repository of memories, impressions, and regrets. The best part? I can Google search my brain. Over a year ago, I was obsessing over "Taking the Farm," a song by The War on Drugs, a Philly-based band that formerly had Kurt Vile as an active member (Sounds like he's on indefinite hiatus). Although I loved that track to death, I don't think I'd ever made it through Wagonwheel Blues in its entirety.

Things have changed since then, and now I almost exclusively listen to albums, rather than a bunch of singles or one-off tracks from several artists. With Monday's announcement of The War on Drugs' forthcoming EP and the stunning "Comin' Through," I decided to give Wagonwheel Blues a much-needed revisit. To my surprise, I took to the album immediately. During this revelatory moment, I realized that the band was probably performing onstage at the Knitting Factory. Fortunately, I saw that they were playing another Brooklyn show the following day, right around my neighborhood. Some things are just meant to be.

For a mainly Kurt Vile fan, seeing The War on Drugs for the first time feels like entering a strange, alternate universe. Frontman Adam Granduciel and drummer Mike Zanghi are members of the Violators, the backing band for Kurt Vile, but the guys seemed much more in their element as The War on Drugs. With a style that's reminiscent of Bob Dylan, Granduciel has a love-it-or-hate-it voice that fits in perfectly with my understanding of the band: a modern, experimental take on Americana. As a live band, The War on Drugs delivered a near-perfect balance of precision and new interpretations, something that I've always felt that KV struggled with in his shows. During their set, The War on Drugs unveiled some new tunes, including the organ-driven "Baby Missiles," my current favorite off the Future Weather EP. But, they were sure to bring out old favorites like a less hazy rendition of "Taking the Farm" and an extended, jammy version of "A Needle In Your Eye #16."

Ultimately, I am amazed by the band's ability to create a complex sound from rather simple parts. I could spend hours trying to break down the devastatingly beautiful melodies into their layers, and I discover something new every time I listen. I have to admit that the lack of harmonica for this show was a bummer for me, especially for a song like "Arms Like Boulders," which opens with a great solo line. I can only imagine what The War on Drugs could sound like if they added a third guitarist, but I'm pretty sure that they would melt faces.

For those of you who haven't been to The Rock Shop yet, the "venue" part is pretty small, kind of like the Pianos showroom. Like Pianos, the sound at The Rock Shop is pretty incredible and can get surprisingly loud. I am a fan.

Future Weather will be released on October 28. It looks like The War on Drugs is hitting Virginia and North Carolina in the next couple of weeks, so definitely check them out if they roll through your town.

Comin' Through - The War on Drugs

Show Me The Coast - The War on Drugs

Mark of yvynyl made this video!


Copyright © 2007-2010 Look at me, I made a blog