Olive Oil-Madeira Cake with Blood Orange Compote
- Unsalted butter for greasing
- 1 1/3 cups plus 6 Tbs. sugar
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup medium-sweet or sweet Madeira
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 blood oranges
- 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
- 10 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup orange marmalade
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using a stand mixer on high speed, beat the eggs, orange zest, vanilla and the 1 1/3 cups sugar until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running, add the Madeira and milk in a slow, steady stream, then drizzle in the olive oil and beat until thoroughly blended. Stop the mixer and sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture in 3 batches, folding it in with a rubber spatula until only a few dry streaks remain.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is browned and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, using a paring knife, cut away the peel from the blood oranges and cut the flesh into segments, reserving any juice. In a nonreactive saucepan, bring the pomegranate juice and the remaining 4 Tbs. sugar to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by half, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the blood orange segments and juice and return to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until the orange segments have broken down, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the mint and orange marmalade. Transfer the compote to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
To serve, invert the cake onto a large plate, then turn it right side up. Cut the cake into wedges, divide among serving plates and top with the blood orange compote. Serves 12.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Desserts, by Raquel Pelzel (Oxmoor House, 2008).