Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Hollee-Olive-Experiment...Take 1

It's been a while since I've posted...but so be it.  I keep apologizing for not posting very often but I've convinced myself that it's because I actually have a life...HAH!  Not really but it makes me feel better to fib to myself a little...

Ok here's the reason for this particular post...I need a new "go to" recipe...all of my recipes call for butter or vegetable oil.  I definately don't have a problem wiht butter - but...I'd really like to find a nice alternative.  lately I've been reading up on Olive oil in cakes.  It caught my interest so I thought I'd give it a try.  First - I decided to brush up on my science (Yes Mr. Patriquin - I said it...i'm voluntarily referring to science!).  I know that every ingredient in cake has a job to do and if I make any changes - I'll change the way the batter behaves.  Here's what I know...

  1. The minute the dry ingredients hit the wet, the clock starts to tick.  If I whip the dickens out of it until the batter is smooth - or wait too long to put it in the oven, I'll have a very fluffy - airy cake that won't hold together.  Kinda like a cake from a box mix.  Not awesome and completely un-decorateable.
  2. Cake gets the structure from the flour and eggs.
  3. Cake gets the moisture from sugar and fat
  4. Room temprature eggs mix more evenly and hold air better = less dense cake.
  5. Olive oil does not hold air.
In theory - if I let my eggs warm up and whip the crap out of the batter, theorhetically, I should have a reasonably fluffy cake that is moist and full of flavour - but stable enough to hold together nicely and be decorated.  Ok - I'm sold! 

 I referred to this recipe from Duo dishes it went together very easily - My spidey senses were tingling like crazy when it came time to add the lemon, though.  I'm not a fan of lemon and neither are most of the kids who eat my cake...I reached for the vanilla instead...then put it back and stuck to the recipe.  I can't fix/fiddle if I dont' know exactly what to fix/fiddle with.  Overall - at that point, I was pleased to say the least.  I was able to mix it more than I normally would - it doesn't make a huge batch - doesn't have a ton of sugar and has nothing that I can't pronounce - it's just good old fashioned cake. :)  In the oven it went and the house smells amazing!!!  It cooks quite quickly and stayed fluffy - and puffs up evenly.  All good signs.  I took it out of the oven to cool and it's really fluffy.  The recipe says to let it cool for 30 minutes before removing it from the pan...but it also says to line the pan with parchment (I skipped that step).  So - I took it out of the pan and it's maybe a little too fluffy...but i think if I let it cool a little, it would be fine.  Because I'm impatient, I sliced the ant hill dome off the center of it to taste it and BAM! Lemon!!  Then I asked kiddo to give it a try.  She is my cake berometer - the instrument by which I determine the success of a cake.  She's brutally honest and never lies to spare my feelings.  Love the kid for that.  Her verdict??  1st...she screwed up her face...then she stuck out her tongue and made a chewing attempt that looked like a donkey eating peanut butter.  Then she asked "did you put that lemon stuff back in it"??  Yup - it's a different recipe...her response??  "I don't like it".  I must take out the Lemon...

I did try another piece with some buttercream on it - but the flavour in the cake didn't blend well with the frosting, sooooo...baaaaaack to the kitchen I go.  First, I'll do my dishes from the 1st go-round, and then I'll give it a trey without the lemon.  I will not refer to science this time, though.  Sorry Mr. P. :)