Thanks to my friend Lauren for baking this delicious cake for my Easter brunch (more on the table decor later).
This cake works perfectly for a spring brunch-it's not too sweet and beautifully compliments the pastel decor. I especially liked the crystallized rosemary sprigs. Bonus points if you use some rosemary in your decor to echo the cake.
I also recommend the leftovers for breakfast with your coffee the next day. Thanks, Lauren, for the cake which is originally from New York Times.
FOR THE CRYSTALLIZED ROSEMARY:
10 small rosemary sprigs, no more than 1" in size
1 egg white, lightly whisked
2 tsp granulated or superfine sugar
FOR THE CAKE:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, for greasing the pan
2 c all-purpose flour, more to flour the pan
3/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c + 1 tsp. super fine sugar
1 tbsp. finely grated orange zest (about 1 1/2 oranges)
1 1/2 Tbsp. packed finely chopped rosemary leaves
2 large eggs
1/2 c sour cream
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
FOR THE ORANGE ICING:
1 1/2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 3/4 c sifted powdered sugar
At least 6 hours before you plan to ice the cake, prepare the crystallized rosemary: Brush rosemary on all sides with a little of the egg white and then dip it in the sugar, so the needles are lightly coated on all sides. Set aside on a wire rack to dry. Repeat with remaining rosemary.
Make the cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit/160 degrees Celsius. Generously grease a 9-inch/23-centimeter Bundt pan with half the butter and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Butter again, generously, and then flour it, tapping away the excess.
Put olive oil, superfine sugar, orange zest and chopped rosemary leaves in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until combined, then add eggs, one at a time. Whisk for another minute, until thick, then add sour cream and mix until combined on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the whisk.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the olive oil mixture and mix until combined. Increase speed to high and whisk for 1 minute.
Scrape batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top with a small spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cake is cooked and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. (You may want to trim the cake at this stage, if it rises unevenly, to allow it to sit flat on the plate.)
Prepare the icing: In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. When the cake has cooled, drizzle icing on top, allowing it to drip down the sides of the cake, then top with the crystallized rosemary and serve.
For the rosemary, you want small, decorative clusters of needles. The simplest way to do this is to pull the smaller, bottommost clumps off of large sprigs, or trim off the very tops of several sprigs.