By Julia Westhoff
One of my favorite things to do during summer is to head out into the wilderness and set up camp. My parents are big campers (they even went camping on their honeymoon. In Minnesota. In January.) and camping was a major part of my childhood. At the time I hated it (mostly because of those dang Minnesota mosquitos), but now I love it, and I’m hoping my girls will follow suit.
Of course for me, the most important part of camping is the food – it can make or break the whole experience. I’ll never forget the time I let Jay pack our food – after hiking four miles to the campsite, I discovered that he’d brought enough to feed one person half a meal. The rage.
These days there’s really no excuse not to eat well at the campsite. Things have changed a lot since I was little and had to force down freeze-dried chicken teriyaki. Now it’s easy to find tons of delicious packaged stews, pastas, or curries. And Pinterest offers tips for tin-foiled meals, the likes of which will blow your mind.
For our upcoming trip I decided to go heavy on the baked goods. I’ve made blueberry muffins, strawberry crumble and olive oil cake – I figure they’ll be good for breakfast, dessert, or snack time. For the bigger meals I’m packing beans, tortillas and a variety of salsas.
This week’s recipe is the olive oil cake. It’s the perfect snacking cake, and it goes great with summer berries. (See it after the jump).
Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
4 eggs, separated, plus 1 egg white, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Finely ground zest of 1 large orange and 1 lemon
1.2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil (I used some orange olive oil my mother-in-law got from The Tasteful Olive)
1 1/3 cups milk
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup salted butter
¼ cup sugar
Juice from zested orange and lemon
Melt all ingredients together in a small pot over medium heat.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour a bundt pan.
Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then gradually add 1/3 cup of the sugar and continue beating until firm peaks form. Scrape them into a large bowl and set aside. In the same mixing bowl -don’t bother to rinse it- beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until thick and light colored. Lower the speed, add the flavorings and salt, then gradually pour in the oil. The batter will be thick, like mayonnaise. Slowly add the milk, then whisk in the flour and flour and baking powder. Reach thoroughly around the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed. Fold in the egg whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes more or until a cake tester comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides. (It’s better to err on the side of overbaking than underbaking this cake.)
Ladle glaze over hot cake (I poked holes in mine to ensure saturation). Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes, then move to cooling rack.