Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Candied Orange and Olive Oil Sundaes

Forget sauces and sprinkles. Vibrantly fresh extra virgin olive oil enhances these sophisticated sundaes. ​

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 pints homemade or best-quality packaged vanilla ice cream
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Remove the zest from both oranges with a bartender’s zester, which removes it in long strips. Alternatively, make wide strips with a sharp paring knife, peel them away from the sections, cut away any excess pith, and slice them into long slivers. Bring the 1/2 cup of sugar and the water to a rapid boil in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Let it boil for 5 minutes, and then add the zest strips. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the strips are translucent, about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander. You can reserve the flavored syrup for another use, such as sweetening tea or drizzling over a loaf cake. Toss the zest strips with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar (a resealable plastic bag works well for this) and set them on a rack to dry for a half hour or longer.

When you’re ready to serve the sundaes, place a scoop of ice cream in each of 6 highball glasses or ice cream dishes. Make a depression in each scoop with the back of a spoon. Drizzle with a little olive oil, then top with a tangle of candied zest and a pinch of the flaky salt. Repeat all the layers in each dish—a second scoop of ice cream, olive oil, zest, and sea salt. Serve at once.

Serves 6 

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Muffins

Extra virgin olive oil makes these muffins tender on the inside and crunchy on top. Using pastry flour creates a finer crumb, and the addition of white whole-wheat flour adds fiber and protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup pastry flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup white whole-wheat flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 scant cup sugar 
  • 2 extra-large eggs 
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt 
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the muffin tin 
  • 1/3 cup milk 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate chips or chunks

Directions

Step 1

Heat your oven to 350ºF. Grease a 12-muffin tin (including the spaces between the cups) with a small amount of olive oil.

Step 2

In a very large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine.

Step 3

In another large bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs until well incorporated, and then whisk in the yogurt, followed by the olive oil, milk, and vanilla extract.

Step 4

Slowly pour it into the flour mixture, folding with a spatula as you go until the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated. Add the chips and continue folding until you no longer see any traces of flour. 

Step 5

Use a large ice cream scoop to fill the muffin cups just about to the top (the muffins will nicely rise over the rims as they bake).

Step 6

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven—they’re done when the tip of a dinner knife inserted into the center of 2 or 3 muffins comes out clean. Cool the pan on a wire rack before turning out the muffins.

Yields 12 oversized muffins

Favorite Carrot Cake

Wonderfully moist thanks to olive oil, this easy-to-make carrot cake sticks to basics: no pineapple, no raisins, no applesauce. If you’re intimidated by layer cakes—or don’t have the correct pans—bake the cake in a 9 x 13 pan or muffin tins. (Adjust baking times as needed.)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 4 cups) peeled and grated carrots
  • 1 cup raw pecan or walnut halves
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups maple syrup or honey
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 4 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Cream cheese frosting (see below)

Directions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease two 9-inch round cake pans. If you’re making classic cream cheese frosting, don’t forget to pull the cream cheese and butter out of the fridge so they can warm to room temperature.

Step 2

Toast the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet in the preheated oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Once they’re cool enough to handle, transfer them to a cutting board and chop them into small pieces. Reserve a couple tablespoons chopped pecans for garnishing the cake, if desired. We’ll stir the rest into the dry mixture in the following step.

Step 3

In a large mixing bowl, combine both flours, the cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir until blended. Add the grated carrots and chopped pecans and stir to combine.

Step 4

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until fully blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with a big spoon until just combined (a few lumps are okay). Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and spread the batter in an even layer on top.

Step 5

Bake the cakes on the middle rack for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the center of the cakes is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the baked cakes on a cooling rack and let them cool completely before frosting.

Step 6

When you’re ready to assemble, prepare the frosting as directed. Carefully invert the cakes to release them from their pans. Frost the top of one cake with about one-third of the frosting. Place the second cake on top, and frost the top with another one-third of the frosting. Finish by frosting around the side of the cake with the remaining frosting. If desired, sprinkle the reserved chopped pecans on top.

Step 7

When you’re ready to serve, use a sharp chef’s knife to carefully cut the cake into slices. The cake will keep at room temperature for the rest of the day and for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Cream cheese frosting: Combine 1 pound of cream cheese, 4 tablespoons of butter (both softened), and 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. Beat until smooth.

Serves 12 — Recipe adapted from cookieandkate.com

Concord Grape and Olive Oil Harvest Cake

Though deeply rooted in ancient Greece, this piquant dish is sensational when made with premium Australian olive oils and wines. If you can, buy sushi-grade tuna steaks.

Ingredients

For the tuna:

  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup Concord grapes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
  • 4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon sanding sugar (optional)

Directions

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper, and lightly coat it with baking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Over another large bowl to catch the juice, slice the grapes in half and remove and discard the seeds; set aside.

Step 2

In a food processor, pulse the pistachios with the confectioner’s sugar until powdery. Add the 2 whole eggs, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla extract, and then pulse about 6 times to incorporate the ingredients. Add half of the flour mixture, then the olive oil, and then the remaining flour mixture, pulsing a few times between each addition. Transfer the batter to the bowl you used for the flour, and fold in any juice that’s collected in the bowl of grapes.

Step 3

In a clean, large bowl, whisk the egg whites on a low speed until foamy, add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and whip at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold a large spoonful of the beaten whites into the batter to lighten the mixture. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites, being sure to incorporate the batter at the very bottom of the bowl. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top, and then sprinkle on the grapes and, if you’re using it, the sanding sugar. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until there’s no wobble in the center and a knife used to test comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, and then release the sides of the pan. Serve at room temperature.

Yields 10-12 servings