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.
Olive Oil-Almond Cake
2 tsp. unsalted butter
All-purpose flour, for dusting, plus 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g.)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) olive oil
1 Tbs. minced orange zest
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large orange, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tbs. fresh pomegranate seeds
1 Tbs. honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter a 9-inch (23-cm.) springform pan. Dust with flour and shake out excess.
In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In a food processor, combine nuts and 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g.) of sugar and process until finely ground. Add to bowl with flour mixture and combine.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat eggs together until frothy. Add remaining 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sugar and beat on high speed until thick and pale yellow, 6-8 minutes. On low speed, beat in olive oil, orange zest and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold flour-almond mixture into egg mixture until well blended. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
Bake cake until top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a thin-bladed knife around edge of pan to loosen sides of cake, and remove pan sides. Let cool completely.
Before serving, top cake with orange slices and pomegranate seeds and drizzle with honey. Cut into wedges and serve. Serves 12.