Clementine, Honey & Olive Oil Cake

Makes 1 – 8-inch loaf cake

Most cakes use the toothpick test to see if the cake is cooked through. You can certainly do that here, but it looked so pretty, I didn’t want to ruin its appearance. Instead, here’s another trick I use: gently press the top the cake with your finger (remove it from the oven for a moment, of course). If it springs back, then the cake is done. If it holds an indentation, then your cake needs a bit more time to cook through.

I decided to keep this dairy free, and used cashew milk. Feel free to swap in whatever milk you have on hand; just keep in mind that if you use coconut milk it’ll impart a slight coconut flavor, which I think would actually work nicely with the citrus.

And speaking of citrus, while this cake is primarily clementine, the lemon is important, so don’t skip that ingredient. It helps perk up the clementine flavor without adding any lemon notes to the cake.

A word about the olive oil. Extra virgin olive oils are more pungent (and truer, for a variety of reasons) than basic olive oil. It’s the oil extracted from the first cold pressing. The flavor, and robustness, varies from region to region, and types of olives. For this cake, I’d recommend one on the milder side, that has more citrus and grassy notes (as opposed to one with a strong peppery undertone). I used this type from Gaea. Interestingly enough they characterize it as having a bitter almond aftertaste, which I don’t necessarily notice when tasting it alone, but can see how that would complement this cake.

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (163 grams) all purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) baking powder

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) fleur de sel

Freshly grated zest & juice of 2 clementines

Freshly grated zest & juice of 1/2 lemon

2 large eggs, at room temperature

5 tablespoons (100 grams) churned honey

5 1/2 tablespoons (60 grams) extra virgin olive oil

2.5 ounces (83 ml / 80 grams) cashew milk

Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Line an 8-inch loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper long enough to hang over the sides (this acts a “handle” to easily lift the baked loaf from the pan).

In a small bowl, add the flour, baking powder, fleur se sel, clementine zest, and lemon zest. Whisk to blend.

In a medium bowl, add the eggs, honey, olive oil, clementine & lemon juices. Whisk vigorously until smooth, and there are no lumps of honey. Add the flour mixture and milk. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir until just blended, and there are no visible lumps of flour.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes, until deep golden, and the cake springs back when gently tapped with your finger. Let cake cool completely before slicing. Wrap leftover cake tightly in parchment paper, and enjoy within 2 days.