This guilt-free desert actually originated in the Mediterranean, where extra virgin olive oil is used in almost everything! When my husband and I visit Italy on our honeymoon in September, I was so inspired by all the fresh cuisine and in particular, the abundance of quality extra virgin olive oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is like liquid gold. There are numerous benefits to consuming a quality EVOO:
Rich in monounsaturated fats
Rich in anti-oxidants
Associated with a decreased risk of stroke
May prevent cardiovascular disease
May decrease risk of dementia
May reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
Has anti-cancer properties
Reduces oxidation of LDL
May reduce blood pressure
I do want to preface this with this: it's important to get a quality EVOO. Many oils in the US are actually cut with vegetable oils and they are not pure EVOO. Once you learn to know the taste, you can tell if the EVOO is really pure EVOO. There is a distinct taste.
Never buy EVOO in a clear, plastic bottle. Olive oil will oxidize if exposed to too much bright light so it should always come in a dark, glass bottle. Our current EVOO is in a UV-resistant glass bottle.
Look for labels that designate the EVOO as 'first - cold pressed.'
Look for a harvest date on the bottle.
It's best if the product comes from a single origin. Multiple origin EVOO increases the risk of mixing or 'cutting' with vegetable oils.
Try to find Organic.
This is our current bottle of EVOO which can be purchased at www.blueprint.bryanjohnson.com:
This particular form is very peppery since it's extremely high in polyphenols. I used a less peppery EVOO for this recipe and I recommend you do as well. You don't want a peppery cake. Taste test your EVOO to make sure it isn't too strong for your liking. Although this is classically EVOO, you could always substitute the EVOO for avocado oil, coconut oil or un-salted butter.
This recipe in particular brings me back to the South of Italy and in particular, the Island of Capri, where fresh Lemons were literally everywhere! It's so light, fresh and delicious.
My recipe is similar to the traditional cake, except that I remove sugar and substitute organic Maple Syrup and rather than powdered sugar, I use Powdered Monk Fruit Sweetener. You could also use Monk Fruit in place of the Maple Syrup, too. I found that this desert did not spike my blood sugar at all, even with the use of Maple Syrup.
Photo from the Island of Capri, Italy:
What you'll need:
2/3 cup of organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2/3 cup of organic Maple Syrup (or Monk Fruit sweetener)
3 organic Lemons, zested
1/3 cup of organic Lemon juice
3 large pastured eggs
1 teaspoon ure vanilla extract
3 cups of organic Almond Flour (not Almond Meal)
1/2 cup organic Tapioca Flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
Powdered Monk Fruit (can be found at Publix, Target, Amazon)
Cake baking pan, approximately 8-inch
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and line the cake pan with parchment paper (or oil it).
Zest 3 organic Lemons.
In a large bowl, whisk together the EVOO, Maple Syrup, eggs, Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest and vanilla extract. Try not to over-combine.
In a separate bowel, combine all the dry ingredients.
Transfer the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients. I recommend doing this slowly, adding a little a time and then combining slowly, rather than throwing in all the ingredients at once. If you have a stand-mixer, this would be very useful.
Place the combine caked batter into the cake pan and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, covered, at 350 F. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and let bake for another 15-25 minutes, until cake tests clean (use a toothpick method).
Cake is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temp pf 190 F.
Allow cake to cool completely before removing from the cake pan.
Optional: powdered Monk Fruit sweetener when serving.
Powdered Monk Fruit (Optional):