makes one 8-inch cake, 10 servings
This flavorful light sponge cake can be the base for many desserts. It can be topped with sweet mascarpone cheese and fresh berries or soaked with a Malvasia or Torcolato–two wonderful, sweet Italian dessert wines named for the grape varietal from which they are made–and topped with fresh whipped cream. Cut in portion size and with a pastry brush; soak well with dessert wine, top with berries, and whipped cream or with warm or chilled zabaglione. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the cake pan
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the cake pan
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Grated zest (orange part only without underlying white pith) of 1 orange
- Grated zest (yellow part only without underlying white pith) of 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 inch spring form cake pan with olive oil. Sprinkle the inside of the pan with flour and rotate the pan to coat the sides and bottom evenly. Tap out any excess flour. Sift 1 ½ cups flour and the baking powder into a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the 2 eggs and the confectioners’ sugar until creamy, smooth and doubled in volume. Add the orange and lemon zest and about half the salt and beat well. Alternately add ½ cup olive oil and the flour mixture, stirring gently after each addition. In a medium-size bowl using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted from them. Add about one fourth of the whites to the batter and with a rubber spatula gently fold them in, scraping the rice mixture from the bottom of the bowl over the whites. Fold in the remaining whites in the same way. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top is a deep golden brown and springs back quickly when pressed with your finger, about 50 minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack about 20 minutes. Run a thin-bladed knife around the edges of the pan and release the sides of the pan. Cool the cake completely before serving.