Campari olive oil cake. For Melissa Clark, the food she grew up eating in Brooklyn, and the French cuisine her parents adored, laid the foundation for how she still cooks. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. (Ryan Liebe/The New York Times)
Campari olive oil cake. For Melissa Clark, the food she grew up eating in Brooklyn, and the French cuisine her parents adored, laid the foundation for how she still cooks. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. (Ryan Liebe/The New York Times)

RECIPE: Campari Olive Oil Cake

By Melissa Clark Time of article published Mar 25, 2020

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When I posted a photo of this modest-looking cake on Instagram, I was blown away by the response. Honestly, it didn’t look like much - a generic yellow cake with a golden top.

I think just the notion of putting Campari and olive oil in a cake is what made people stop and “like” it. And it is a pretty terrific flavour combination: The citrusy bittersweet character of the Campari goes really well with the fragrant oil, to which I also add melted butter for richness, as well as lots of fresh citrus juice and zest.

On its own, the cake is a pretty plain-looking thing, but you can dress it up for a party, adding orange segments, berries and dollops of whipped cream or crème fraîche to the top. If you want to go one step further, simmer some Campari and a bit of sugar down to a syrup, and drizzle that all over the cake. It turns the cake more pink and accentuates its boozy flavour.

Campari Olive Oil Cake (Serves 8)

Total time: 11/2 hours

Ingredients

1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted, plus more for greasing the pan

2 cups (255g) all-purpose flour

1 2/3 cups (330g) sugar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup (160ml) whole milk

2/3 cup (160ml) mild olive oil

3 large eggs

1/3 cup (80ml) Campari

1 tbs grated grapefruit zest

1 tbs grated orange zest

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1/4 cup (60ml) fresh grapefruit juice

2 tbs fresh orange juice

1 tbs fresh lemon juice

Whipped crème fraîche or whipped cream, sweetened or not as you like, for serving

Method

Heat oven to 180ºC. Grease a 23cm springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. (You can use a regular 23cm cake pan that is at least 5cm deep, but the cake will be harder to unmould.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, milk, oil, eggs, Campari, citrus zests, and citrus juices. Fold in the dry ingredients, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the top is golden and springs back when lightly pressed in the centre, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (A cake tester might emerge with a few crumbs, which is okay.)

Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Then run a butter knife around the edges and release the sides.

Serve with dollops of whipped crème fraîche.

This cake is best served on the same day that it’s baked.

The New York Times 

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