Whether it’s delicate and grassy or bold and fruity, olive oil can make a gorgeous addition to dessert. That’s something that chef Dario Cecchini, the famed Italian butcher and restaurateur, knows intimately. His knowledge is on full display in his torta all’olio recipe for YesChef, a streaming platform offering cinematic cooking classes taught by world-renowned chefs. Cecchini’s olive oil cake keeps it simple, which allows the subtle flavors of good olive oil to shine through.
One of Cecchini’s innovations is to use an entire orange in the cake — not just the juice and zest, but the pulp and peel, too. Chopped into small pieces, the orange gives the cake a gorgeous citrus scent. A healthy splash of Vin Santo, an Italian dessert wine made from dried grapes, and a handful of raisins complete the picture. Altogether, the cake isn’t overly sweet or rich, which means you can enjoy it for breakfast without risking a sugar crash. It’s a cake, you might say, for all reasons and all seasons. — Amy McCarthy
Torta All’Olio Recipe
300 grams sugar, divided
1 small orange
150 milliliters extra-virgin olive oil
70 milliliters Vin Santo
70 milliliters water
350 grams flour
16 grams baking powder
30 grams raisins
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch cake pan.
Step 2: Using an electric mixer, beat 250 grams sugar and eggs until well combined.
Step 3: Chop up the whole orange, including the peel and pulp, into small pieces, being careful to remove the seeds. Place in a large bowl.
Step 4: In the same bowl, add the olive oil, Vin Santo, and water and combine. Add to the egg and sugar mixture and beat until combined.
Step 5: In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
Step 6: Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, incorporating a little at a time just until combined.
Step 7: Pour the mixture into the cake pan. Sprinkle the raisins across the surface and then use an offset spatula to level the surface, covering the raisins with batter so they don’t burn.