Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Greedily, Blissfully, Peacefully / Goulûment, Voluptueusement, Paisiblement

Nada's Cake

I wanted to call each and every one of you to tell you about this cake the minute I ate it. It was that good.

We baked it when my husband’s nieces, who now I just call my nieces, my sisters, my dear sisters, were here. The house was warm with their laughter, their helping hands in the kitchen, their midnight chitchat in bed and their little quarrels. Oh how I miss their chitchat with me in the kitchen and even their quarrels! They reminded me of my older sister and I.

I love having people over. I love seeing my guest room pleased and bright and being used for its actual purpose and not what was and is now a room where ironing table, a few days old folded laundry and mismatched baggage cohabit. I love to see my daughter playing and chasing her cousins, while being able to scream only one syllable of their names: “Sha!” “Meen!”

Little hands

I loved our obstinacy to have dinners on the deck under pouring rain, laughing out loud at our “moist” salad. I loved our dinners on the deck under hungry mosquitoes, spraying and itching in pain. I loved our afternoons run to the near by supermarket to buy ice cream. I loved our expressions when we had our first tastes of Durian and then the second and third, and the look on our faces when we drove back home with this stinky fruit in the trunk of our car.
I drove you crazy with my persistence to stop you, even my hubby, from eating while standing up (you know it stresses me out)
I drove you crazy with my fake Pad Thai and your uncle with his charred-pseudo-grilled- shrimp. Remember?

I remember. I remember how happy I was to have you in my house, in my kitchen. I remember how we enjoyed going to the backyard to pick black raspberries and to make this cake together, which I chose to make, you agreed to help and we all loved to eat greedily, blissfully, peacefully, sitting on the countertop. I remember how sad I was to drop you at the airport and how hard it was to say goodbye and to let you go, my dear sisters.

I was drawn by this cake more than any other cake in Jamie Oliver cookbook mainly because the use of olive oil in the batter intrigued me. I’ve heard about this odd combination before but never had the courage to give it a go. What a waste of years! All my life I’ve been dipping bread in olive oil, which isn’t a bad thing either, when I could have used it to make this cake. This is pure genius. The olive oil gives richness and moisture and most importantly depth of flavor to the cake that no other vegetable or canola oil or even butter would have given. The crumb is light and the berries are just drenched in this lovely aroma of citrus and olive oil. The cake can be whipped up in ten minutes without even using a stand mixer. Weeks later and I still have the taste of this lovely combination in my mouth. Still have the lovely voices of my sisters in my heart.

On the grass

Nada’s Cake

Recipe: Adapetd from Jamie’s Italy
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder (This is the one I use all the time)
- A good pinch of sea salt
- Zest of 2 lemons, grated
- Zest of 2 oranges, grated
- 6 oz fresh black raspberries or blueberries or red sweet grapes such as Muscat or fragola
- A bit of butter to grease the pan

Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously butter a 9-inch pan and line the base with waxed paper. Set aside.
Either by hand or in a the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes, then add the butter, olive oil, milk, lemon and orange zest and vanilla. Mix well, then mix in the flour, baking powder and salt until everything is thoroughly blended. Set aside for 10 minutes for the flour to absorb the liquid.

Stir about a quarter of the berries into the batter, pour into your prepared cake pan, and scatter the rest over the top. Bake the cake for 45- 55 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let it cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the sides of the pan to turn it out.

The cake can be stored at room temperature, wrapped, for up to four days. It is even better on the following day.

Garden Berries

Gâteau Nada

In Francais Please: adaptée de Jamie’s Italy
- 4 gros oeufs, a temperature ambiante
- 270g de sucre en poudre
- 200g de beurre, fondu
- 125ml d’huile d’olive extra vierge
- 200ml de lait
- 1 c.c d’extrait de vanille
- 360g de farine, tamisée
- 1 ½ c.c de levure chimique
- Une bonne pincée de sel marin
- Le zeste de deuz citrons
- Le zeste de deux oranges
- 400g de framboises noires, de myrtilles, ou de petits raisins type Muscat
- Une noisette de beurre pour le moule

Préchauffer votre four a 160C. Beurrer génereusement un moule à gâteau de 22cm de diametre et garnir le fond de papier sulfurisé, puis mettre de côté.
Avec un fouet ou à l’aide d’un mixeur, battre les oeufs avec le sucre jusqu’à ce que le mélange devienne épais et d’une couleur jaune pale, environ 3 minutes. Ajouter le beurre fondu, le lait, l’huile d’olive, les zestes et la vanille. Bien mélanger puis ajouter la farine tamisée, la levure chimique et le sel et incorporer jusqu’à obtenir un mélange homogene. Ne pas trop mélanger. Laisser reposer 10 minutes afin que la farine absorbe un peu du liquide.

Incorporer le quart des fruits à la pate, verser dans le moule préparé et mettre le reste des fruits sur le gateau. Faire cuire 45-55 minutes, ou jusqu’à ce que la surface soit d’une belle couleur dorée et qu’un cure-dent inséré en ressort propre.

Laisser le gâteau refroidir dans son moule sur une grille patissiere pendant 10 minutes, puis passer un couteau autour des bords du moule et démouler.

Ce gâteau se conserve à temperature ambiante, couvert de film plastique, jusqu’à quatre jours. Il est d’ailleurs meilleur le lendemain de sa cuisson.


Barbara Palermo said...

What a beautiful cake! Thanks for sharing!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Well, it looks absolutely stunning - so it's not hard to believe it tasted delicious, too!

browniegirl said...

Oh my!!!! How wonderful to be sooooo loved!!! Warda-Rose you have a beautiful heart, a beautiful soul and such beautiful prose and writing style. What a pleasure to be invited into your warm, exciting home through your blog and experience what your sweet nieces experienced, and what you family experiences every day!! You are all so blessed. One can never love enough!! This cake sounds wonderful. Another recipe for me to try as I empty out my grocery cupboards in preparation for our move!! And your photographs are a delight. Well done. It was worth the wait..........Hugs from me to you!!

Anonymous said...

What is the size of the cake pan you used?

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL! I wish I could have a bite of that cake right now....sweets are my downfall.

I am so glad that I found this blog....you are such a wonderful person, and I love how you write - with such joy, and love and care for those around you. You also take beautiful pics!

Jen said...

Olive oil cake is truly food of the gods. What a lovely recipe. And what a lovely tribute to your nieces - it sounds like you had an absolutely delightful visit!

Anonymous said...

it's the 2nd time I write here that I love reading you, I love your words, and I love the recipes you choose :)
I'd love to know you, really, I'd love to come and visit you. I hope this will happen soon :)

Michelle said...

What a wonderful story and I've read it twice now! And the cake...gorgeous!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Your niece is the perfect model for these photographs -- beautiful patterns of her dress, the table, the cake -- a lovely study in blues!

Anonymous said...

wow! this looks great. perfect for tea. and i love how large that slice looks.

Leslie said...

Your love for your sisters is evident! And the cake is divine!

Wendy said...

I remember seeing this recipe in the book and thinking it looked nice. But your cake looks amazing! What lovely, lovely photos.

Anna Del Conte has an apple cake recipe in one of her books which uses olive oil. I made that once and was similarly suprised at how wonderful the olive oil tasted in it.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful - I want to make the cake just from looking at the pictures!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

You know, when your picture appeared, I said to myself, Did I already comment here? Then I realized that Elaine of the Italian dish made the same cake and submitted it to me for SHF! How funny is that? Your cake looks beautiful, Warda. And is that you in the pic? I love your dress. :)

Maggie said...

I love your beautiful discription of enjoying time with your family. The blackberry cake sounds great and I love the skirt and top in the pictures.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Warda, by looking at these amazing photos, I can see why all the fuss for the cake is about! It looks delish!

Shayne said...

this cake sounds delicious I love the ingredients but best of all are the photos they are great and the outfit is beautiful and the baby hands are the best. Maybe I loke the baby hands the best because I know how the baby feels about the blackberries.

Antonio Tahhan said...

wow!! seriously, I wouldn't have minded a phone call to hear about this cake! It looks so bright and the fresh berries on top look divine!! It sounds like you all had a blast!

Izzy's Mama said...

Look utterly scrumptious! Great use of summer berries.

Anonymous said...

I have always been intrigued by cakes with olive oil. I make biscotti with olive oil and love their texture. My nephew has blackberry bushes near his home and I think this is how we should use them. Beautiful photograph. Thanks!

Eileen (passions to pastry)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! The photos are just stunning and the cake sounds great. And what a wonderful family gathering, I feel like I was there!

SF said...

Merci! J'ai vraiment votre histoire.

Il me semble une maison francais rustique en printemps!

Je regret, mon francais est en peu rouille!

Anonymous said...

We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email haleyglasco@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)



Anonymous said...

J'aime beaucoup la robe de ta nièce ! Et ce gâteau...Miam !

Amanda said...

What a beautiful post, and a beautiful cake. The photos are superb--love the dress!

Half Baked said...

Stunning! that cake looks amazing!!

Anonymous said...

I too have been afraid to try olive oil in baked goods - despite having a cookbook for exactly that! But your description has overcome my fears - this looks too good to pass up!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

I love this! It is so rustic and gorgeous looking!

Simone Izumi said...

woooooowwwwww....what a wonderful cake!

Anonymous said...

Warda, I just made this cake last night and brought it into work today. It has been DEVOURED! And it's not even 9:30 yet! Someone gifted me with a big box of blackberries that she had picked....so I had to make the cake.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

Warda said...

- Mona, I am so glad, so glad you and your colleagues enjoyed it! And so sweet of you to share it with them. What a wonderful way to start the day at work.

Thank you for the message and for making my day even better. Have a wonderful weekend!

Anonymous said...

The hardest part of having guests over is seeing them leave. OK - well most guests. Some of them you are ready to boot out the door before they even arrive ;)

Either way, beautiful cake!

Anonymous said...

Looks good enough to eat...going to give this one a try perhaps this weekend. Blackberries are coming on right now, here.

Anonymous said...

That cake looks amazing, and that dress! That dress, that dress! I LOVE it.

Zo said...

Thanks so much for sharing, I made this yesterday with spectacular success (although I changed the recipe a bit).

Check it out if you want, I linked to you of course! http://twospoons.uber.com

Anonymous said...

I love this cake! I use grapes and what a delight it is!

Anonymous said...

I made this along with the chicken/olive tajine -- though we ended up having it for tea in the afternoon, too. For guests, I would highly, highly recommend making it one day in advance: it is super fragrant and much moister the day after.


Anonymous said...

Un succes fou! I made it in my slow-cooker, actually, because my guest and I were out in the forest all day. It was delicious. And I even found the turmeric in an organic foods shop! I missed having some good bread to go with it, though (Lithuanian dark rye bread just didn't sound good to me!). So now I have to learn to make my own! Recipe?

PS Je crois que j'ai fini de lire tous les billets ici. C'est tres rare, pour moi, de me sentir aussi depaysee! Je crois que 64 sq ft Kitchen est mon nouveau blog favori! Mais il faut "poster" plus souvent -- tous les jours, par exemple! :-)

Warda said...

- MamaShift, hurray for slow cookers!!! Je suis tres contente de savoir que mon tagine et mon gateau fut un succe avec tes invites. Et tu as raison, meme si je n'ai pas fais ce gateau depuis le jour ou je l'ai publie sur mon blog, je me rapelle qu'il etait meilleur le lendemain. Je ne sais pas si je pourrai poster tous les jours, mais je ferrai de mon mieux de poster le plus souvent possible. Je penserai la prochaine fois a une recette de pain toute simple pour toi. Bisous :)

Anonymous said...

Oops! Hee hee! J'avais cru voir que j'ai commente dans la mauvaise fenetre! Beh, au moin tu as compris!
Merci pour les recettes, d'aujourd'hui et demain!

Anonymous said...

Oy! Et maintenant je commente avec le mauvais "username"!

Anonymous said...

I just love your weblog! Very nice post! Still you can do many things to improve it.

Warda said...

- Anonymous, I love to hear constructive advices, so please don't hesitate! There is always room to improve.

Anonymous said...

awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks. peace maria

Warda said...

- Maria, Thanks! I don't have a facebook page for my blog, just for me ;)