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Olive Oil-Almond Cake

A handful of simple ingredients, including almonds and olive oil, come together to make this exceptional, not-too-sweet cake. Garnish it with any pretty fresh fruit you like or serve it plain—it will still be delicious. Make sure you have a springform pan before getting started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) coarsely chopped blanched almonds
  • 1 cup (8 oz./245 g) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. minced orange zest
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large orange, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Tbs. honey

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan. Dust with flour and shake out the excess.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a food processor, combine the almonds and 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) of the sugar and process until finely ground. Add to the bowl with the flour mixture and stir to combine.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high, add the remaining 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar and beat until thick and pale yellow, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the olive oil, orange zest and vanilla. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour-almond mixture until well blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides of the cake, then remove the pan sides. Let the cake cool completely.

Just before serving, top the cake with the orange slices and pomegranate seeds and drizzle with the honey. Cut into wedges and serve. Serves 12.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy in a Hurry, by Karen Ansel, MS, RD and Charity Ferreira (Weldon Owen, 2011).