I went to Rome when I was a sophomore in college. [Sigh...] I so desperately wish that five years ago when I was in Rome that I was the same food- and-Italian-culture- obsessed crazy person that I am now.
I would have appreciated the trip considerably more. But that’s okay – all the more reason to go back!
We were having breakfast one morning, and I can vividly remember peeling my first blood orange; I was surprised by the deep red color and unknowingly thought “ewww, I got a bad one”.
Q. Why are they red?
A. Blood oranges get their color from a pigment called anthocyanin. The depth of color depends on their particular growing conditions. [Southern Italy]
Q. Do they taste different than a regular orange?
A. Yes- they are less acidic and slightly more sour.
Q. Why are you obsessed with them? Why are you asking yourself questions? Where is the recipe?
A. Sorry, but I’m in love with anything that reminds me of Roma. Especially when they are food products that are hard to find. Blood oranges are only available in the United States in winter months, and they ain’t cheap when they are available.
As for the recipe: I suggest that if you are lucky enough to stumble upon a batch in your grocery store- buy them all up! Save them for no one else! They are worth it. Eat a few on the ride home. Go crazy.
Most importantly: showcase your blood oranges in this beautiful Olive Oil Cake. In this recipe we will pay tribute to every single part of the blood orange from the zest to the juice, and we will place it on the pedestal that it deserves.
Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
Slightly adapted from The Wright Recipes
[Makes approximately 14 small square servings of cake]
You will need:
- 2 Tsp of orange zest
- 4-5 blood oranges: peel and slice into rounds; remove seeds
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 3/4 Tsp baking powder
- 1/4 Tsp baking soda
- 1/4 Tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice [ regular orange juice will work just fine]
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup sugar + more for dusting bottom of pan
Preheat oven to 375.
Zest and prepare your oranges.
In one bowl mix together the orange zest, four, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In another bowl, mix together the egg, juice, and olive oil as well as the 1/2 cup of sugar.
Prepare an 8 inch cake pan with olive oil or non-stick spray. Sprinkle a dusting of sugar to coat the bottom of the pan.
Place the blood orange rounds in the bottom of the dish. [We are creating an upside-down cake]
Pour the batter over the oranges . Bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan and then invert onto a plate or rack.
You will love this cake because it is so simple to prepare, and it will remain deliciously soft thanks to the olive oil.
And it’s gorgeous. But I think it really speaks for itself.