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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Egg Substitutes & Olive Oil Cake

Thanks to the Midwest Icepocalypse plus a "light" snow that's put 5" on my driveway, I am snowed in and out of eggs.  A few moments on the Googles, however, offered a potential baking solution to the no-egg situation using ingredients I have, ground flaxseed and water, with the promise of "light, fluffy cakes!!" 

I decided to test this proposed mixture on Giada deLaurentiis' Almond Citrus Olive Oil Cake since I am also nearly out of butter (I'm also subbing dried fruit for almonds because...surprise!...I'm out of those too).  The use of flaxseed instead of eggs, in combination with the olive oil, should make this a fairly heart-healthy cake as well...apropos since today is Go Red For Women Day.  Serendipity! 

The results are mixed...it's a good moist cake with a nutty, not-oversweet taste, but not surprisingly the slice doesn't hold together well.  The cake broke slightly in turning it out, so it looks rather "rustic" LOL  Probably baking in a springform pan for a few minutes past the toothpick-comes-out-dry stage would solve that problem.  In any case, the two-year-old taste tester scarfed it down, so it's a winner in spite of the aesthetic shortcomings.

Finished product:

The extra bonus of this recipe is using my frozen stash of citrus zest (a prep-ahead freezer staple) and my husband's stash of ground flax.  And the double-extra bonus...the accompanying compote recipe uses orange blossom water,one of those ingredients that I bought because I needed 2 tbsp for a recipe and am now constantly on the lookout for ways to use it up.  Thanks to my on-hand ingredients, this cake has literally taken less than 10 minutes to whip up.

  So here is my egg-less version of Giada's cake...

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted, coarsely crumbled
Citrus Compote:
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange blossom water, optional
  • 3 oranges, segmented
  • 2 pink grapefruits, segmented
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8-inch-diameter cake pan. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, and zests in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the milk. Gradually beat in the oil. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the almonds. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Place cake pan on baking pan to collect any possible spills. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Remove cake and place on serving platter, top side up. Sift powdered sugar over the cake.

To make the citrus compote: Stir the orange peel, blossom water, and 2 tablespoons of accumulated juices from the segmented fruit in a small bowl to blend. Arrange the orange and grapefruit segments decoratively in a wide shallow bowl. Pour the blossom water mixture over. Cover and let stand 15 minutes for the flavors to blend.

The cake after the liquid combination step:

In the oven:

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