My husband, kids and I were in Captiva, Florida with friends during Easter. I was swimming instead of baking this year and so I did not get a chance to make a dessert. Last week, I found this recipe by accident and decided it wasn’t too late to serve my family Schiacciata alla Fiorentina or “Orange Easter Cake”. This is a good cake and as the recipe promises a very easy one to make. The cake is golden when it comes out of the oven and I taste the nutmeg first which warms the flavor of orange. It is perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee perfectly French pressed with cinnamon.
It’s not, however, my childrens’ favorite although, as the days went on and I began toasting pieces of the cake, my one son became a fan of the toasty flavor. I did receive the following comments from my little food critics: “Where’s the frosting?” “What are those black dots?” (nutmeg) My husband says he can take it or leave it. I like it and will make it again one of these afternoons and freeze it into portion-size pieces.
I have to say when I think of oranges and nutmeg, I think of Christmas time. The warm, citrus- spicy aromas that filled my kitchen seemed a little out of place. I will most likely then, save this “Easter” cake to brighten up the cold days of next winter.
Schiacciata alla Fiorentina (recipe from allrecipes.com)
2 c all-purpose flour
1 c white sugar
7 Tb warm milk
¼ c olive oil
1 orange, juice and zest
1 ½ Tb baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 360 (yes, 360) degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter. Mix flour, sugar, warm milk, olive oil, orange juice and zest, eggs, baking powder, vanilla extract and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix until batter is well combined (I used a hand mixer on low speed for 30 seconds and then medium speed for about a minute). Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and bake in a preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean – about 30 minutes. Since my oven bakes fast, I began checking for doneness at about 20 minutes and every 5 minutes after.