Today is my first day of Spring Break! And something very exciting just happened – as I was sitting here typing up this post I saw a huge bald eagle flying right outside my living room window! His wingspan must have been at least 4 feet wide, definitely the largest bird I have ever seen. It was amazing to watch him fly spreading those remarkable wings out and soaring right in front of my eyes. I ran for my camera but he was gone by the time I got back to the window. But back to the cake! This Sicilian dessert is moist and dense, a huge hit for any crowd.
2 large oranges
2 1/3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
butter, for coating the pan
sea salt, for garnish
1/8 cup powdered sugar
(Recipe Adapted from Saveur)
Begin by slicing off the tops and bottoms of the oranges.
Quarter each orange and place the slices into 6 cups of boiling water. Boil for about 3 minutes.
Drain the oranges and fill with a fresh 6 cups of water and bring to a boil for 3 more minutes. Drain once again. This helps to create a soft scented flavor instead of a pungent orange flavor.
Add 4 cups of water and 1 cup sugar. Cook over medium-high heat stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes, or until the rinds of the oranges can easily be pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and let cool.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar.
Remove the orange quarters from the syrup and discard any seeds. Reserve 1/4 cup of the syrup for later. Place the oranges into a food processor. Pulse 10-12 times or until a chunky puree is formed.
Add the flour mixture, vanilla extract, and eggs into the processor and blend until well incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
Add the extra virgin olive oil and mix well.
Pour the batter into a spring form pan that is buttered and floured.
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes.
Mix together the reserved 1/4 cup of syrup with the powdered sugar. Place a piece of wax paper under the cooling sheet. Carefully take off the sides of the pan and brush the syrup over the top and sides of the cake.
Sprinkle the top of the cake with sea salt.