I’m going to start by being really to the point here—this is one of the top three cakes I’ve ever made. It has sweetness, moistness, fruitiness, and a little almond-y nuttiness. The interior has the perfect crumb, and the outside edges are crispy and toasted due to the almond meal in the cake. The moistness inside the cake is due entirely to the hefty amount of rich and silky California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil that I poured into it. I love using olive oil in cakes because it lends a wonderful richness to them and keeps their interior moist, but without weighing you down after having a slice (or two!) I grated up and juiced some of the beautiful winter tangerines currently flooding the market shelves and included that in the cake, too. Since the tangerines have such a fresh and bright flavor, I paired the ‘Rich & Robust’ California Olive Ranch blend with it to meet one bold flavor with another. It’s fascinating to me how different types of olives have such drastically different flavors, and how mixing them is almost like blending wine, you’re balancing the varietal flavors to try and get the best combination in each bottle of EVOO.
For the glaze, I kept it very simple and just mixed together powdered sugar with freshly juiced pomegranates. I juiced them by taking the pomegranate jewels and crushing/rubbing them over the top of a wire mesh sieve on top of a bowl, so that the bowl underneath caught all the juice. Wear a black shirt if you do this, though, because they kind of explode sometimes and that juice makes a real deep stain. The glaze had an awesome kick to it because of the tartness of the pomegranate juice, and I think I might try using the same one on donuts at some point. To top it off, I dumped a bunch of pomegranate jewels on top of the cake, which you *have* to do. Not only does it look good, but the tiny burst of each little jewel and accompanying tart outpouring of flavor contrasts super duper well with the rich, almond-y citrus cake. The whole thing is just the greatest. Oh, and did I mention how easy it is to throw together? Because it is 🙂 Highly recommend making this for any holiday parties you’re attending, or any entertaining you’re doing.