Apricot or Banana Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients:
• 2 cups Semolina
• 1 Tbs baking powder
• 1½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup sugar, divided
• 2 eggs
• 1¼ cups buttermilk
• ¾ cup TAO EVOO (add some lemony zing by using ¼ cup TAO lemon olive oil and ½ cup TAO EVOO)
• 1 tsp vanilla
• zest of 1 lemon
• 4 medium, ripe apricots, pitted and cut in half OR 4 medium, ripe bananas, sliced length wise in half
• ⅔ cup honey, any variety will do but we like Honey Feast Orange Blossom
• ¾ cup TAO apricot white balsamic if you use apricots in this recipe, or TAO banana white balsamic if you use bananas in this recipe

Instructions for the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Lightly oil (with EVOO) the bottom and sides of a of a 9” by 13” rectangular baking pan and then line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the semolina, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar until completely mixed.
4. Incorporate the buttermilk and the eggs with the dry ingredients and whisk until fully combined.
5. Whisk in the olive oil, lemon zest, and vanilla to the batter and whisk until smooth.
6. In a separate bowl, toss the apricots, or bananas, with 1/2 cup of sugar.
7. Place the apricot halves, or the bananas, cut side down on the parchment paper at the bottom of the pan. Use a nice, even pattern so the finished product has a pretty, uniform look.
8. Pour the batter over the apricots or bananas, and shake the pan slightly to settle the batter.
9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Do not to overbake as this cake can dry out quickly.

Instructions for the syrup:
1. Make the glaze while the cake is baking by gently heating the honey and the apricot or banana balsamic in a saucepan. The mixture should never go above a light simmer for about 10-12 minutes over medium heat while it thickens and reduces by about a third.
2. When the cake is finished baking, remove from the oven and slowly pour the syrup over the top of the cake until all of the syrup soaks in. Let the cake cool completely.
3. Place a serving plate on top of the baking pan and carefully turn upside down to allow the cake to drop to the plate. Slowly peel the parchment from the top of the cake.
4. This cake is best when served at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of Greek style yogurt.


Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse w/Sea Salt & Berries

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup TAO mild to medium intensity EVOO. Add subtle flavor twist and substitute TAO blood orange, lemon or basil olive oil for the EVOO
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • For garnish
    • Berries
    • Chocolate shavings
    • Fleur de Sel or French Grey sea salt, optional
    • Mint or basil leaves, optional

Directions

  1. Add chopped chocolate to the top pot of a double-boiler, or add chocolate to a heat-safe bowl and then place over a pan of simmering water ensuring the bowl does not touch the water.
  2. Warm chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolks, olive oil, warm water and Himalayan salt until thoroughly blended.
  4. Using an electric mixer and a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until frothy.
  5. Add sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
  6. To create the mousse, carefully fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until white streaks are gone, and then repeat two more times using 1/3 of the egg whites each time.
  7. Gently spoon mousse into glasses and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Garnish with chocolate shavings, berries and Fleur de Sel or French Grey sea salt and mint or basil leaves before serving.

Uniquely... Thoughtfully...Artfully...Gourmet