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Friday, April 22 2016

All this lemon olive oil cake needs is you on the couch with a house that smells like a bakery and winter spa combo, holding a warm mug of dark coffee and a few (dozen) slices of this bread.

3 cups grated zucchini (about 2 zucchini)
grated zest of 2 large lemons
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups brown sugar (packed softly)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
optional: tiny pinch of nutmeg
optional: a small grated piece of fresh ginger
Preheat the oven to 350. In a small mixing bowl, mix the zucchini with ¼ cup brown sugar. Transfer the mixture to a fine-mesh strainer set over the mixing bowl. Fill another small bowl with water and set it directly on top of the zucchini so that it is pushing down, pressing the water out into the bowl below.
Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Whisk together the remaining brown sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla until well blended. Beat in the olive oil gradually, whisking it in until it's thoroughly incorporated.
Stir in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds, nutmeg, and ginger until just combined. Add the pressed zucchini to the batter and stir it in gently until evenly incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The outer crust of the bread will be firm to the touch and on the darker side of golden brown (see notes).
Cool the bread in the pan for about 20 minutes. Remove, cut, and serve (but also see notes about chilling the cake which is unusually delicious).
For whatever reason, I think this lemon olive oil cake tastes THE BEST when stored in the refrigerator. I cannot get enough of it. Just stick it in the fridge after you've eaten the first warm slice, and then the next morning treat yoself to the most dense, moist, luscious lemon olive oil bread.

For a lighter-colored cake, use half brown sugar and half white sugar. Or all white sugar. I've made this 6x, a little different each time, but my favorite variation was the all-brown-sugar version (as written) which gives a darker, more caramel-like crust on the whole bread. It might seem a little dark at first compared to other loaf cakes, but give it a little time in the fridge and it will be magic in your mouth.

About the sugar: yes, it's a lot of sugar. I did try it with less sugar and while it tasted pretty good, the texture just wasn't quite there. I generally opt for less sugar in my recipes, but in this one, I really felt like the full sugar amount was necessary to achieve the best texture. The batter WILL taste overly sweet. Don't panic. It all evens out once it's baked.

Posted by: AT 02:41 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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