10″ springform pan. You can use a regular cake pan but the springform pan really helps cakes from getting soggy when they cool, plus they’re easier to clean.
Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C. Rub pan with olive oil.
Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly, add the olive oils and milk and whisk again. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry, gently mixing just until combined. Stir in the chocolate and half of the lemon zest. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle with the other half of the lemon zest and rosemary leaves so there is a little bit all over the cake. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top of the batter now, before putting the cake into the oven. At the end of baking you will finish the cake by putting it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, which will caramelize and harden the sugar, coating the lemon zest and rosemary leaves, making a lemony glaze that really sends the cake over the top. Honestly, this is the step that really makes the cake—the lemon/rosemary/chocolate combo is delicious!
Check the cake at 45 minutes. It may be done or may need 5 or so more minutes; you want the top domed and golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the center to come out cleanly. When done baking, finish it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Do not walk away from the cake while it is under the broiler! FYI: if you do burn it, the cake can be salvaged by cutting off the burned top. The neighborhood kids will still eat it, because, as they will have shrewdly observed, it still has chocolate in it. You can also flip the cake over and cover the bottom–which will now be the top–with a lemon icing and it will be both edible and presentable to your forgiving family and close friends. The burned portion does not impart flavor to the cake if you cut it off within a few minutes.
If you’re using the springform pan, take the side off as soon as you can and place on a wire rack to cool. If you remove the bottom within five or so minutes, the cake cools on a wire rack and doesn’t have time to get soggy by being in contact with a hot pan.
The beauty of an olive oil cake is it does not need refrigeration—unless it’s 90+ degrees in your house. Olive oil is a natural preservative, so just pop a glass cake dome over it (or a large bowl) and leave it on the counter. This method works just fine; in most houses cake doesn’t last long and even if it gets a bit crunchy on the 3rd day it’s better than wrapping it in plastic and contributing to the plastic island in the middle of the ocean. Serves 8 -12.
Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks by Heidi Swanson andGood to the Grain by Kim Boyce.
ROSEMARY OLIVE OIL CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE AND LEMON
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