Mini Pistachio-Rose Olive Oil Cakes w/Lemon-Chamomile Whipped Cream

Random fact: I love basketball, specifically the NBA. More specifically, the San Antonio Spurs. You might be thinking, "Wait, aren't you from Hawaii?!" And yes. I am, which means I get to pick whichever team my heart desires, since Hawaii doesn't have it's own professional teams. So, of course I found a team in Texas to love. "But why the Spurs?" This would be a totally valid question. The answer is: The Admiral. It's pretty difficult not to fall in love, hard and fast, with a team that was centered by The Admiral, a man who pretty much embodied teamwork in every way possible. Random fact number two of the day: David Robinson is the only NBA player from the Navy to date (hence, The Admiral) and he's also arguably one of the best centers of all time. Last thing about Robinson, because I do realize this is not a basketball blog although I could go on and on, he's one of only five guys to have scored over 70 points in a single game and yet he's often remembered most for his teamwork and the relationship he and Tim Duncan (another great Spur) built. They even earned the nickname of the Twin Towers (they're big dudes, Robinson's 6' 8" and Duncan is 6' 11"). And all of that, right there, would have been enough to make me a Spurs fan for life. But here's the thing, that only scratches the surface on this team. When I think of teamwork, the Spurs seem to be the quintessential example of what teamwork should look like and that is why they are so beloved.

And I promise I'll stop there. Why am I telling you all of this? Because the Spurs are out. They just lost to the Los Angeles Clippers, in the first round of the playoffs, in a heartbreakingly close seven game series. They lost Game 7 by TWO points and there was a horn malfunction on the last second that could have changed the outcome of the game. So, I apologize if I'm a little sensitive this week, I'm still in shock. The only pro to come from this loss is that I have more time to focus on everything that I might have been neglecting for the last week and a half. Whoops. Blame it on the playoffs. And because I'd love to bring my basketball rants full circle, I'm going to suggest that this was the perfect intro to this awesome day of sharing. Renee, from Will Frolic for Food, was kind enough to get a bunch of awesome bloggers together today to share their favorite edible flower recipes for a 'virtual' potluck! Scroll down to find some beautiful and inspiring ways to incorporate edible flowers into your kitchen.

My contribution to the potluck is this recipe for some mini pistachio-rose olive oil cakes with lemon-chamomile whipped cream. They're light, floral and might be the perfect addition to your mother's day festivities, tea time, or really any other time of the day. I'm actually having one for breakfast right now--they are so airy and fluffy that I've convinced myself that they're pretty much calorie free. Packed with a double (yet subtle) dose of rose, these olive oil cakes are delicate and that beautiful rosy aroma gives them an air of dignity, (I think roses have a majestic scent , is that just me?). Pair that with the bright and soothing duo of lemon and chamomile in whipped cream form, and you've got a well balanced treat. Think sponge cake not dense olive oil cake when you think of this cake, cause that's pretty much what it is. And the fruity and smooth rose-infused olive oil (I used Other Brother's Shorty--I mentioned them last time--and highly recommend it for this recipe as well as any everyday cooking needs) adds to the overall vibe of, errr, lightness. Blanking on a better word for this but I'm gonna go ahead and blame this on the fact that I'm still recovering from the Spurs loss. 

Plan ahead for this recipe because infusing olive oil takes a while. Think 8-12 hours in a slow cooker or sous vide (at around 100°F) for the same amount of time. You can also infuse your whipped cream with chamomile at the same time. I went with a cold infusion for 4-5 hours and the cream came out perfect. Not too chamomile-y and also, saved myself the trouble of heating it up on the stovetop. You can definitely steep the roses or chamomile longer for a more intense infusion but I think subtly can be highly underrated and might be best in the case of cakes. Feel free to bake this into a 9" round or even into cupcakes and whatever you do, don't forget to grease or line those pans!! I can't stress that last part enough. And with that, I'll leave you with all the other wonderful floral options out there today!!

Mini Pistachio-Rose Olive Oil Cakes w/Lemon-Chamomile Whipped Cream

Whipped cream adapted from Two Red Bowls

Makes 8 mini cakes

INGREDIENTS

ROSE-INFUSED OLIVE OIL

  • 1 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. dried rose blossoms

LEMON-CHAMOMILE WHIPPED CREAM

  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. dried chamomile flowers
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

OLIVE OIL CAKE

  • 1/2 c. cake flour
  • 3/4 c. pistachio flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 c. rose infused olive oil
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

TOOLS

  • Mason jars
  • Slow cooker or sous vide
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Fine mesh sieve or nut milk bag
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Stand mixer
  • 8 cavity mini loaf pan
  • Cooling rack

FIX

ROSE-INFUSED OLIVE OIL

  1. Do ahead!: If you're using a slow cooker, line the bottom of your cooker with a hand towel then fill the cooker about halfway with water. Turn cooker to low to preheat. If you're using sous vide, simply fill your container with water to the minimum fill line and set sous vide to 100°F.
  2. Lightly crush roses in the bottom of your glass mason jar using a wooden spoon then fill jar with oil. Stir to cover blossoms with oil and release any air bubbles.
  3. Cap jars and place into slow cooker on top of the towel or into the sous vide container and . allow oils to infuse for 8-12 hours on either low for the slow cooker or at 100°F for sous vide. Stir or gently shake jars a few times during the infusion process.
  4. After oil has been infused, turn off slow cooker or sous vide and allow oil to cool to room temperature. Strain flowers out through a fine mesh sieve or nut milk bag, pressing or squeezing to get as much oil out of the blossoms as possible. Set aside till ready to use. 

LEMON-CHAMOMILE WHIPPED CREAM

  1. Do ahead!: Combine cream and chamomile in mason jar and let steep in fridge for 4-5 hours. Strain the chamomile out through a fine mesh strainer or nut milk bag, squeezing the chamomile to extract the most flavor. Set aside in fridge till ready to use.
  2. Right before you’re ready to top your cakes, whip cream with honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice stand mixer, with whisk attachment, on medium until firm peaks form or until you reach your desired consistency.

OLIVE OIL CAKE

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease your pan(s) with butter and dust with flour or line with paper liners then set aside.  
  3. In a small bowl, sift pistachio flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil (3/4 cup), rose water, and lemon juice and zest. Beat until combined (mixture might appear separated). Add in flour mixture and beat for an additional 30 seconds.
  5. In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.
  6. Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. 
  7. Carefully pour cake batter into pan(s).  Bake until puffed and golden and a tooth pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 22 minutes (around 35 if baking in 9" round). Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then invert the cake on a large plate.
  8. Top with whipped cream and any other desired toppings.
  9. Serve and enjoy!