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Archive for Diet Nibbles

PRODUCTS: 5 More Favorite Specialty Foods

Another batch of favorites from THE NIBBLE.

What makes it a favorite? We would buy it again…and again. In alphabetical order, we recommend:

1. LOVE THE WILD: FROZEN FISH FILLET ENTRÉES

Only one in five Americans meet the USDA recommendation for fish intake, a vital high protein dietary component that’s high in protein and healthy fats.

LoveTheWild is on a mission to make it easy for you to enjoy delicious, traceable fish dinners—in fact, we can’t recall an easier preparation. Add the fillet to the piece of parchment paper, top with the cubes of sauce, fold and bake. It tastes like it was prepared at a [good] restaurant.

Aside from a moist and tasty piece of fish, there’s no pan to clean: The parchment goes from pan to plate (or, you can remove it before plating).

In the process, the company uses the greener technique of aquaculture, which they call “the least environmentally impactful form of animal protein production in the world.”

The frozen entrées, nicely packaged, pair sustainably-sourced fish filets with regional, butter-based sauces that complement each species’ unique taste.

The company hand-selects seafood from the most well-managed farms in the world, providing you with the highest quality sustainable seafood. There are currently four varieties, each of which was a hit with us:

  • Barramundi with Mango Sriracha Chutney
  • Catfish with Cajun Creme
  • Rainbow Trout with Salsa Verde
  • Striped Bass with Roasted Pepper Almond Sauce
  •  
    We received these as samples, but we’re headed out to load up!

    LoveTheWild products are sold at major retailers across the U.S., including Whole Foods Markets, Wegmans, Sprouts, and Mom’s. Find a store locator and more information at LoveTheWild.com.
     
     
    2. MEMBER’S MARK SEA SALT CARAMELS

    Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, is increasing its foothold in the specialty food space. It has revamped its private label Member’s Mark brand to include more premium products.

    Items span many categories, from sea salt caramels and honey sourced from a U.S. bee cooperative to all-natural pulled pork created with help from pit masters at the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

    The brand will add 300 new items this year and plans to add another 300 next year. In addition to food, the Maker’s Makrk merchandise includes health and wellness and apparel.

    We received samples of the sea salt caramels, honey, and olive mix. The honey and olives hit the spot; but there are good honeys and olives around.

    The hands-down winner were the delicious sea salt caramels, notable for their generous size (about 1-1/4 inches square by 7/8 inch high—a long, chewy mouthful.

    The centers are soft, handcrafted caramel, the exterior quality milk chocolate. There’s a light sprinkle of sea salt; even if you don’t see it, you’ll taste it.

    Caveat: We couldn’t stop eating them.

    If you’re not near a Sam’s Club, we also found them on Amazon, and are trying to restrain ourselves from ordering the six-pack.
     
     
    3. PEPPERIDGE FARM FARMHOUSE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

       
    Love The Wild Striped Bass

    Members Mark Sea Salt Caramels

    Sea Salt Caramels

    Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

    [1] Love The Wild has four terrific frozen fish entrées (photo courtesy Love The Wild). [2] Member’s Mark from Sam’s Club has great salted caramels (photo courtesy Sam’s Club). [3] The caramels look like this, with tiny grains of salt. You can make these at home with this recipe from Inspired Taste. [4] Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse is perhaps the best mass-market chocolate cookie (photo courtesy Pepperidge Farm).

     
    We wouldn’t have called these cookies “farmhouse.” They’re sophisticated, thin and crispy. We think they’re Pepperidge Farm’s best cookies yet.

    Made from classic ingredients—butter, flour, vanilla and chocolate chips—the cookies are made in three varieties:

    Choose a product:Pepperidge Farm FarmhouseTM Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies
  •  
    It’s hard to choose a favorite, but you don’t have to: Try them all.

    The’re available last retailers nationwide; SRP is $3.49. The line is certified kosher by OU.
    ________________

    *Traceability is the ability to verify the history, location aor application of an item by means of documented recorded identification. Consumers and retailers can follow if a product meets regulatory, environmental and ethical standards.Here’s more.

     

    Wholey Cheese Crackers

    Terra Plantain Chips

    [5] One of three flavors of gluten-free cheese crackers, from Snyder’s Of Hanover. [6] Plantain Chips from Terra Chips.

     

    4. SNYDER’S OF HANOVER: WHOLEY CHEESE! CRACKERS

    Does America need another cheese cracker?

    Yes, when they’re as light and tasty as Wholey Cheese, the new brand from Snyders Of Hanover. And gluten free, to boot.

    Potato starch is used instead of wheat flour, an advantage over Cheez-It and Goldfish:

  • Mild Cheddar
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Swiss & Black Pepper
  •  
    The only issue is the high proportion of broken crackers. But in the end, it didn’t affect us as we ate every crumb: from the bag and sprinkled onto salads, soups and potatoes.

    Find them at retailers nationwide.
     
     
    5. TERRA CHIPS: PLANTAIN CHIPS

    We have loved Terra Chips long before they were a store product. They began as a specialty of a Manhattan caterer, who sliced his way to famed and fortune (and we thank him for it).

    The company has just introduced two varieties of plantain chips:

  • Plantains, a savory chip
  • Sweet Plantains
  •  
    Plantains are members of the banana family, but are more dense and less sweet (and can’t be eaten raw). They grow in tropical climates, where they are treated as root vegetables (but they aren’t), and typically served in savory preparations.

    Plantains ripen, like bananas. The Sweet Plantains are made from the ripe fruit, at the point that natural browning occurs. There is no sugar added.

    We actually preferred the more savory chip.

    Discover more at TerraChips.com. The line is certified kosher by KOF-K.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: National Hummus Day: Try A New Brand!

    Hope Black Garlic Hummus

    Salad-Topped Hummus

    Chocolate Hummus

    [1] Black Garlic, one of 11 delicious flavors of Hope Hummus (photo courtesy Hope Foods). [2] One of our favorite ways to serve hummus: topped with salad ingredients and, as a lunch dish, with a hard-boied egg (photo courtesy Shayla | NOLA). [3] Woo hoo, chocolate hummus (photo courtesy Hope Foods).

     

    May 13th is International Hummus Day.

    Over the last two decades, hummus has evolved from a mezze at Mediterranean restaurants to the hottest, most nutritious dip and spread at supermarkets nationwide. It’s the darling of nutritionists, nutritious and versatile, and a better-for-you snack.

    Hummus is Arabic for chickpea. The more long-form name for what we refer to as hummus is hummus bi tahina, chickpeas with tahini. Tahini is a paste made of toasted, hulled sesame seeds, which can been joyed as a dip on its own.

    The recipe for hummus is simple: chickpeas, tahini and seasonings (including garlic), mashed and puréed*.

    THE HUMMUS RENAISSANCE

    Two decades ago, the hummus available in the U.S. was the classic: plain. If you didn’t order it at a restaurant or live near a neighborhood with an international market that carried it, you made your own the recipe is easy, once you found a store with tahini).

    But since the hummus renaissance, stores have been sagging under the weight of so many brands and so many flavors. We’ve counted more than two dozen flavors among different brands. Our personal favorites: horseradish and black olive, which we found at Trader Joe’s.

    But, we like everything. So we were very pleased to receive samples of a new brand from Hope Foods. If you head to the website now, you can enter to win a year’s supply of hummus.

    HOPE FOODS ORGANIC HUMMUS

    There are 11 flavors of hummus. We tried three of them, all especially delicious.

    First, the consistency is wonderful, like well-mashed homemade hummus.

    While we enjoy the ultra-smooth texture of big brands like Tribe, we welcome the return of toothsome texture, like Grandma used to make (if your grandma’s ancestry was in the eastern Mediterranean).

    Second, the flavor selection is a bit more interesting, with black garlic, Thai coconut curry, and spicy avocado hummus (the most popular flavor).

    The line is preservative free, certified Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Certified, OU kosher and USDA Organic. There’s a store locator on the website.

    HOPE HUMMUS FLAVORS

    Currently, the line of hummus includes:

  • Black Garlic Hummus
  • Jalapeño Cilantro Hummus
  • Kale Pesto Hummus
  • Lemon Peppercorn Hummus
  • Original Recipe Hummus (nice and peppery)
  • Red Pepper Hummus
  • Spicy Avocado Hummus
  • Sriracha Hummus
  • Thai Coconut Curry Hummus
  • Plus, Dessert Hummus

  • Dark Chocolate Hummus
  • Dark Chocolate Coconut Hummus
  •  
    While we haven’t had Hope’s chocolate hummus, we have had other brands: Thumbs up!

    The company also makes guacamole, which we have not yet tried.

    “Spread” the word!
    ________________

    *Some brands also add olive oil.

     

    THE HISTORY OF HUMMUS

    Chickpeas, sesame, lemon, and garlic have been eaten in the Levant† for millennia. Though widely consumed, chickpeas were cooked in stews and other hot dishes. Puréed chickpeas eaten cold with tahini do not appear before the Abbasid period (750 to 1517 C.E.) in Egypt and the Levant.

    The earliest known recipes for a dish similar to hummus bi tahina are in 13th-century cookbooks from Cairo.

    Some food historians believe it appeared a century earlier, prepared by Saladin, the first sultan of the Ayyubid dynasty (1174–1193); and if so, it was more likely created by a cook in his kitchen, the idea of the warlord Saladin-as-cook being tough to swallow.

    Recipes for cold purée of chickpeas without tahini, but with vinegar, oil, pickled lemons, herbs, spices (but no garlic), appear in medieval cookbooks; as do recipes with nuts vinegar (though not lemon), but it also contains many spices, herbs, and nuts. [source]

    Whomever and however, we’re grateful that it came to be part of our [almost] daily diet,

    ________________

    †The Levant is an English term that first appeared in 1497. It originally referred to the “Mediterranean lands east of Italy.” The historical area comprises modern-day Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. Among other popular foods, Levantine cuisine gave birth to baklava, balafel, kebabs, mezze (including tabbouleh, hummus and baba ghanoush), pita and za’atar, among other dishes that are enjoyed in the U.S. and around the world.
    ________________

    WHAT IS/ARE MEZZE?

    Mezze (MEH-zay) or meze is the singular form for a number of small dishes served in the Middle East to accompany drinks (add an “s” for the plural form in English). In some countries, an assorted mezze plate is served as an appetizer.

    Each country has its favorites. The ones most often found in the U.S. are:

     

    Mezze Platter

    Hummus Platter

    [4] A mezze plate in California: babaganoush, feta, hummus, olives, pita and a local touch, pickled carrots (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [5] Hummus itself is gluten-free, but not the pita. This gluten-free hummus plate from Glutino Foods offers other options.

  • Babaghanoush, mashed eggplant mixed with seasonings.
  • Dolmades can take many forms. In the U.S., they’re usually Greek-style: grape leaves stuffed with rice, chopped mint and lemon juice (these are also called sarma). In some countries, eggplants, peppers and zucchini are stuffed, often with the same ingredients plus minced lamb.
  • Falafel, a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both.
  • Fattoush – salad made from several garden vegetables and toasted or fried pieces of pita bread.
  • Feta cheese or other local cheese.
  • Halloumi cheese, sliced and grilled.
  • Hummus, a dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas.
  • Kibbeh, a mixture of bulghur, minced onions, finely chopped meat, and spices. Depending on the region, it is shaped into balls or patties and fried, baked, cooked in broth, or served raw (tartare).
  • Souvlaki, bite-sized lamb cubes, grilled on a skewer.
  • Labneh, strained yogurt that is more tart, like sour cream.
  • Tabbouleh, bulgur wheat, finely chopped parsley, mint, tomato, green onion, with lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings.
  • Taramasalata, a carp roe dip based whipped with lemon juice and olive oil. Sometimes, mashed potatoes or bread are added to stretch the recipe. We buy the Krinos brand, which does not add fillers.
  • Tzatziki, a dip made from plain yogurt, chopped cucumber with finely chopped garlic and mint leaf.
  • Yogurt.
  •  
    They are typically served along with Greek-style olives and pita, or other flatbread.

    MORE HUMMUS

  • Beyond Dipping: More Ways To enjoy Hummus
  • Black Garlic Hummus Recipe
  • Carrot Hummus Recipe
  • Hummus Sushi
  • Make Your Signature Hummus
  • Rancho Gordo Hummus Recipe
  • Turn Plain Hummus Into Flavored Hummus
  • 20 Ways To Make A Hummus Sandwich
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Plateau De Fruits De Mer For Vegetarians & The Seafood Averse

    One of our favorite I-deserve-a-treat meals is a big plateau de fruits de mer (PLAH-toe-duh MARE, platter of fruits of the sea—photo #1): a large pile, nicely arranged, of raw shellfish (clams and oysters in multiple varieties, scallops) and lightly cooked shellfish (crab legs, langoustine, lobster, lump crab meat, mussels, prawns, shrimp).

    Sometimes, in coastal areas, it may include delicacies that are rarely seen inland: abalone, cockles, limpets, periwinkles, sea snails, whelks.

    A plateau de fruits de mer is considered an appetizer and comes in different sizes depending on the number of participants.

    We’ll just have the whole thing as our appetizer and entrée combined—two or three tiers of it. We don’t even need the mignonette sauce and spicy seafood sauce that typically accompany it; just the lemon wedges.

    There are extra points for adding those custardy echinoderm corals* from sea urchins—ideally presented in their dramatic porcupine-spiky shells.

    Sashimi doesn’t count here…not that we wouldn’t be just as happy to eat the contents of a large funamori (sashimi boat—photo #3).

    But let the French serve their beautiful plateaux des fruits de mer and let the Japanese serve their beautiful funamori. It’s more special that way; and as the French say, “Vive la différence.”

    (The Japanese translation is “Vive no ra chigai,” although we’re not certain that the Japanese actually use the phrase.)

    But what if you’re allergic to seafood, a vegetarian, vegan, kosher, unable to eat raw foods, and so forth?

    You can create a kindred dish that we’ll call a plateau des légumes, a tiered platter of gorgeous vegetables (photo #2).

  • Similar to the plateau de mer, it’s a mix of raw and lightly cooked produce.
  • Serve it with two or more dips, including a tart, vinaigrette-type dip and a creamy one.
  • Consider some dipping spices, like berbere, dukkah or ras el hanout†.
  •  
    This inspired idea—serving a melange of raw and cooked vegetables on a tiered tray—is from Botanica, an exciting new vegetarian-focused restaurant in Los Angeles. If you can’t be there, you can still enjoy the riches of their webzine, which is available to everyone.

    We spent hours poring over their Facebook and Instagram photos of beautiful, nutritious, locavore‡ and guilt-free foods for every meal. There was nothing we didn’t want—immediately!

    Whether you go for the seafood or vegetable plateau, either is:

  • Gluten-free
  • Lactose-free
  • Low calorie
  • Low fat
  • Low-Carb
  • Nut-Free
  • Soy-Free
  • Sugar-Free
  •  

    Plateau de Mer

    Plateau des Légumes

    Sashimi Funamori

    [1] Plateau de fruits de mer at The Smith in New York City. [2] An analogous vegetable platter at Botanica in Los Angeles. [3] Funamori: the Japanese version of plateau de mer (photo courtesy Kintarouonsen.co.jp).

     
    If you decide to buy a tiered tray, you can also use it for cupcakes, cookies and other sweets; tea sandwiches’ and other festive presentations.

    FOOD HISTORY: THE ENTRÉE

    In the modern-day U.S. and Canada, an entrée refers to the main dish of dinner. In French cuisine, as well as in the English-speaking world outside of North America, it is a dish served before the main course in a multi-course dinner.

    In French, the word originally denoted the “entry” of the dishes into the dining halls of the wealthy. You can see Medieval paintings and illustrations (here’s one) that they enter with a trumpet fanfare from the musicians’ gallery.

    The procession of servants bearing a large number of dishes was led by by the maître d’hôtel, who carried the tureen. The procession marched around the room, presenting the fare to all diners before beginning to serve the courses [source].

    ________________

    *The corals are also called roe, both terms more appetizing than their biological name: gonads. Both male and female sea urchins have the delectable, edible “sea urchin roe,” which are difficult to gather and thus a pricey delicacy.

    †You can mix your own from any combination of chiles, citrus peel, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, nutmeg and peppercorns.

    ‡We acknowledge that it’s easy to cook locavore when you live in the land of perpetually plentiful produce: California.

      

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    HOLIDAY: Cereal Donuts For National Cereal Day

    Donuts With Cereal Toppinf

    Cereal Donut

    Lactaid Whole Milk

    Types Of Lactaid Milk

    [1] and [2] Cereal-topped donuts and milk from Show Me The Yummy. [3] and [4] Lactaid for everyone! (photo courtesy Lactaid).

     

    March 7th is National Cereal Day, and here’s the big question: Do you drink the leftover milk in your cereal bowl?

    According to a survey by Wakefield Research*, 74% of Americans frequently drink the leftover milk in the bowl after finishing their cereal; 79%* feel that dairy milk tastes best as leftover cereal milk

    We’re one of them. We even pour extra milk into the bowl, just so we’ll have enough left over.

    People love cereal milk so much, that pastry chef Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City whipped up cereal milk as a standalone drink.

    Quirky? Yes. Tasty? Yes. Here’s a recipe to make you own.

    As a lactose-intolerant American, we just can’t enjoy nondairy milks—almond, coconut and soy milk, for example, on our cereal.

    Thank goodness for Lactaid. We live on their milk, chocolate milk, ice cream and cottage cheese. All are real milk products, neutralized with the addition of lactase (like Lactaid pills), which provides the enzyme our system no longer produces.

    We can drink and eat all we want, no Lactaid pill required.

    Lactaid sent us this special Milk + Cereal Donut recipe from Show Me The Yummy.

    Those of you who have no lactose issues can use regular milk.

    Prep time is 45 minutes, cook time is 10 minutes. We ate three of them today, and they are delish!

    LACTOSE-FREE MILK + CEREAL DONUTS MADE WITH LACTAID

    Ingredients

    For The Donut Base

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (15.25 oz) box cake mix, yellow or chocolate (most store-bought cake mixes are lactose-free)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup Lactaid whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cereal of choice
  • 1 cup crushed cereal of choice
  •  
    For The Vanilla Glaze

  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons Lactaid whole milk
  • Pinch salt
     
    For The Chocolate Glaze
  • 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons Lactaid Whole Milk, more if necessary
  • Pinch salt
  •  
    Topping

  • Cereal(s) of choice
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the donut base. Combine the milk and 1/2 cup cereal of choice in a small bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F and spray a donut pan or mini muffin tin with cooking spray.

    2. WHISK together in a large bowl the cake mix, egg, oil, and milk-cereal mixture until well combined. Stir in the crushed cereal.

    3. ADD the batter to the pan. For a mini-muffin pan, use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to fill the prepared mini muffin pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. For a standard muffin pan, make a small cut in the corner of a gallon sized Ziplock bag and fill with the batter. Pipe the batter into the prepared donut pan. Fill only halfway up or they’ll spill over. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

    4. REMOVE from the pan and let cool.

    5. MAKE the vanilla glaze and/or chocolate glaze. Whisk together glaze ingredients in a medium sized bowl until smooth.

    6. ASSEMBLE: Dunk the cooled donut into the glaze and roll into cereal of choice. Enjoy immediately!

    ________________

    *The Lactaid Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,009 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, between February 6th and 10th, 2017, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18 and older.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Olive Oil Polenta Cake

    We have advocated olive oil cake before. But this is a variation with polenta (cornmeal) instead of white flour.

    Olive oil cake is a standard in some parts of Italy, substituting olive oil for butter as the fat. So is polenta cake, with a hearty crumb.

    Both are rustic, uniced cakes. When we first tried an olive oil cake, moist and springy, we had no idea it lacked butter. When we first tried polenta cake, we fell in love with the irony:

    We’ve often called muffins “uniced mini cakes,” because many are so sweet. With polenta cake, it’s the opposite: a sweet corn muffin in the guise of cake.

    In Italy, an olive oil cake is usually made with all-purpose flour and often has citrus accents, which complement the olive oil. But any flavor can be used, including chocolate; as can a liqueur. Some recipes include pieces of fruit in the batter as well as zest and juice.

    For a wine pairing, serve it with an Italian dessert wine wine like Vin Santo. There’s more about wine pairing below.

    The following recipe, adapted from one in the cookbook Cake Keeper Cakes, is fragrant from olive oil and juicy with roasted grapes. Use any seasonal fruit, from berries to lychees to peaches.

    In addition to adding fresh basil, we made basil whipped cream. If you like basil as much as we do, try it! As with all homemade whipped cream, it must be whipped right before serving. However…

    If you want to use it but need to prepare it in advance, make stabilized whipped cream.

    RECIPE: OLIVE OIL CORNMEAL CAKE

    We adapted this recipe from Lauren Chattman’s book, Cake Keeper Cakes, adding fresh basil. It may sound unusual, but it’s terrific, as is rosemary. Made with cornmeal instead of wheat flour, it’s also gluten-free (corn in all ground forms is gluten-free: corn flour, corn meal, grits, etc.).

    Why aren’t there more rustic cornmeal cakes with herbs? We have no idea—especially since some recipes are very similar corn muffins.

    Our guess is that bakers think that American’s won’t try a cake with herbs. (Thanks to cake mixes, we’re all familiar with oil-based cakes.)
     
    Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1-3/4 cups (10 ounces) red seedless grapes, washed and dried
  • Optional: 1/4 cup Limoncello*
  • 1-3/4 cups (10 ounces) red seedless grape
  • 1-3/4 cups (10 ounces) red seedless grape
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting -or- crème fraîche -or- mascarpone -or- lightly sweetened whipped cream
  •  
    For The Basil Whipped Cream

  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream or heavy cream†
  •  
    Preparation

    If you add all the grapes at once, they’ll sink to the bottom. So reserve half and scatter them on top of the cake after it’s been in the oven for 10 minutes. They’ll sink slightly, but will still be visible.

    As for the garnish, we’ve never been fond of confectioners’ sugar. Pretty as it looks, it too easily falls onto one’s clothing. Instead, we prefer a dairy topping: crème fraîche, mascarpone or lightly sweetened whipped cream. This toothsome, rustic cake is better with a modestly sweet or tangy garnish.

    If you don’t have a spring form, you can make this cake in a bundt.

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F and grease a 9-inch round springform pan.

    2. WHISK together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

    3. COMBINE the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is light in color and has increased in volume, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for 1 minute. Turn the mixer to low speed and stir in the milk, vanilla, and lemon zest.

    4. KEEPING the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until just incorporated. Stir in half of the grapes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.

    5. SCATTER the remaining grapes over the top of the partially baked cake and continue to bake until the cake is golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes longer.

    6. TRANSFER the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 5 minutes. Release the sides of the pan and let the cake cool completely before dusting with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into wedges and serve. When ready to serve…

    7. MAKE the basil whipped cream. Purée the fresh basil and sugar together in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and add the cream, whipping until it forms soft peaks. Serve immediately.

     

    Olive Oil Cake

    Cake Keeper Cakes

    Olive Oil Cake With Orange

    Olive Oil Cake

    Olive Oil Cake Citrus Garnish

    Vin Santo

    [1] and [2] A polenta cake with grapes, from Cake Keeper Cakes (recipe at left). [3] Olive oil cake with orange top (here’s the recipe from Newlywed Cookbook. [4] Olive oil cake made with Grand Marnier and white flour (here’s the recipe from Food 52). [5] Polenta olive oil cake with citrus garnish (here’s the recipe from Frog Hollow Farm). [6] Vin santo, a wine served with biscotti, is a good pairing for the cake—as well as the options below (photo courtesy Blog Siena).

     
    You can store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrapped in plastic at room temperature, for up to 3 days. Otherwise, freeze the leftovers.

    MORE OLIVE OIL CAKE RECIPES

  • Lemon & Olive Oil Cake With Strawberry Syrup (AP flour)
  • Lemon Basil Olive Oil Cake (cake flour)
  • Lemon Basil Olive Oil Cake With Yogurt (AP flour)
  • Olive Oil Cake With Amaretto & Orange Zest (AP flour)
  • Orange Olive Oil Cake (AP flour)
  • Rosemary Olive Oil Cake (AP flour and cornmeal)
  •  
    WINE PAIRINGS WITH OLIVE OIL CAKES

    A dessert wine, of course! Suggestions:

    Sweet Sparkling Wines

  • Amabile and Dolce sparkling wines from Italy
  • Asti Spumante (sparkling moscato) from Italy
  • Brachetto d’Acqui (a rosé wine) from Italy
  • Demi-Sec and Doux sparkling wines from France (including Champagne)
  • Dry Prosecco (a.k.a Valdobbiadene) from Italy
  • Freixenet Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée and Freixenet Mía Moscato Rosé from Spain
  • Sparkling Gewürztraminer from Treveri Cellars in Washington, USA
  • Schramsberg Crémant Demi-Sec from California, USA
  •  
    Sweet Still Wines

  • Banyuls from Roussillon in the south of France
  • Late Harvest Zinfandel from California
  • Lustau Muscat Sherry Superior “Emlin” fom Spain
  • Recioto Amarone from Veneto, Italy
  • Ruby Port from Portugal
  • Vin Santo from Tuscany, Italy
  •  
    Liqueurs also work.
    ________________

    *The first time you make this cake, you may wish to leave out the liqueur and concentrate on enjoying the basil.

    †The difference: Whipping cream contains 35% fat while heavy cream contains 38% fat. They are interchangeable in recipes.

      

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