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Purity of flavor comes shining through in this simple olive oil cake from Clinton Kelly, host of Food Network’s "Spring Baking Championship."
“Personally, I enjoy salty desserts,” says Clinton. “But if you don’t, reduce salt by half—and be sure to use a good quality olive oil! You can taste the difference! This cake can also be made a day ahead, but don't add the glaze until just before serving.”
Pro tip: A 9-inch springform pan can be used, but increase cooking time to approximately 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, 1 cup sugar and orange zest. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Using a hand mixer, whip egg mixture on high speed for 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add olive oil and mix for 1 minute. Keeping speed on low, add about 1 cup flour mixture. Mix until combined. Add milk. Mix until combined. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until combined.
Pour batter into greased pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes, then remove from springform pan.
While the cake cools, prepare the orange glaze: In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice and remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat, stirring frequently. (It should be a strong simmer, not a rolling boil.) After about three minutes, the mixture should be the texture of warm maple syrup. Let cool.
Remove cake to serving plate, and brush glaze over the top. Serve alone or, if desired, with lightly whipped cream or a dollop of mascarpone.