Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cake Friday: Olive Oil & Rosemary Cake with Orange Confit

We've had the Babbo cookbook since it was released and for six years it has moved with us. That's three states and probably a dozen apartments. But have we cooked from it? I'm embarrassed to say no. We've been making a serious effort to either use or retire the cookbooks we've collected, so last week, we dusted off Babbo and quickly found the Olive Oil & Rosemary cake. It was love at first sight: a sweet and savory pound cake with six ingredients. The only item we needed to buy was the fresh rosemary and it was on.

The cake was incredibly simple to make, and the end result was moist and flavorful. It was dessert-like but not too sweet (which had its down side: we each ate two slices). We apologize, Mr. Batali. More recipes from Babbo will be made soon.

To accompany the cake, Lee made orange confit from a recipe we found on an old NYT Minimalist video. Here's how it works:

Take four whole oranges and blanch them in a dutch oven of water for 30 seconds. Dump the water and do the same thing again. Then quarter the oranges and put them in the pot with two cups of sugar and enough fresh water to cover. Keep the whole thing at a low simmer (just a stray bubble here and there) for eight hours. You might need to add a little extra water from time to time, to keep the oranges covered. When eight hours is up, you can take the oranges out and let them rest, covered and at room temperature, overnight. The next day, arrange the oranges in the bottom of the dutch oven with two cups of sugar and enough water to cover (again). Keep it at a simmer for eight hours (again). Let them rest over night. The third day: orange slices, sugar, water, simmer. The oranges are quite delicate by the end. They're soft enough to cut and eat with a fork (rind and all); the flavor is kind of related to that of marmalade, albeit with a fuller orange flavor.

We're definitely making this one again.

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