Last night we hosted our dinner club for Italian night. It was a great evening, and we had so much good food!
We started with Sarah and Brad's amazing pepperoni bread! I think I could have stopped right there, it was that good. Then we had a simple salad that we made which included some romaine, fresh fennel, and a light orange vinaigrette. After salad we had eggplant bundles that Matt and Erin made. They were slices of eggplant filled with tomato and mozzarella cheese, broiled until golden brown. Very good! Jerel and I made the main course which was a traditional lasagna. I made a homemade meat sauce with the grass fed beef we got from Millers Livestock, used lots of cheese, and fresh pasta sheets. I really enjoyed the lasagna, I think it was some of the best I've ever made! (more on this later) The lasagna was served with Brad and Sarah's zucchini ribbons, which had a great kick!
After all of that filling food, I figured we'd need something light for dessert. I made a lemon olive oil cake, and served it with lightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries. I was really happy with this cake, and I'll definitely be adding it to my list of regulars!
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for greasing the pan
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup cake flour
5 egg yolks
4 egg whites
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, adjust rack to middle position. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with oil, line the bottom with parchment paper and oil it.
Finely zest entire lemon and whisk zest together with flour. Halve and squeeze the lemon and reserve 3 tablespoons of juice.
With an electric mixer and large bowl, beat yolks and 1/2 cup sugar at hight speed until pale and thick, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add 3/4 cup olive oil and lemon juice, beating until combined (mixture may appear separated). Fold in flour mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined.
With an electric mixer, whisk egg whites with 1/2 teaspoon salt on medium high speed until foamy. Continue whisking and slowly add 1/4 cup sugar until egg whites hold soft peaks, about 2-3 minutes. Gently fold one third of whipped whited into yolk mixture to lighten, and then fold the remaining whites until just combined.
Pour batter into springform pan and release air bubbles by gently tapping pan against work surface. Evenly sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar over the top of the batter. Bake until the top is golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Place on rack and cool in pan for 10 minutes, run a thin knife around edge of pan and release springform. Cool cake to room temperature, remove parchment and serve with fresh whipped cream and berries.