Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Olive Oil Loaf

I am kind of an iced coffee fiend. Actually, I am an iced coffee fiend and luckily for me (or unluckily, rather) New York City has a plethora of overpriced and delicious iced coffees. I was shocked when I first moved to Montreal and the only iced coffees were these coyingly sweet and very gross "frappes." Then again, who really wants an iced coffee when its negative a million degrees? Hmm...well that is neither here nor there, since I am not actually here to talk about iced coffee today. I am here to talk about a place in New York that serves great iced coffee and even greater Olive Oil Loaf.
abraco nyc olive oil loaf
Abraco, which means 'hug' in Portuguese, is a teeny tiny espreso bar in the East Village serving "housemade semi-sweets and savories." The name is fitting, as you walk in you are literally embraced by the aromas of coffee, fresh baked goods, and homemade frittatas. It has been commended for its iced coffee, but the thing that really intrigued me was all the talk about the food they serve. Olive oil loaf, cured olive shortbread, and a whole slew of other incredible sounding things that I have yet to try. Anyhow, while I was still living through the iced coffee drought of Montreal, I kept reading about this place and knew that once I moved back to New York I would have to go ASAP. It took me about 2 weeks to make it there, but after one bite of olive oil love and a nibble of cured olive loaf, I (like everyone else) was hooked.
slices olive oil loaf
So, true to form, I had to figure out how to make these myself because, well, that's what I do. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the recipe for the cured olive shortbread, but I haven't given up hope yet. These just-sweet, crispy cookies were just buttery enough without being greasy and the cured olives added the chewiness of a dried fruit with an added salty tanginess that just tied all the flavors together. Gosh, I need to find that recipe. On the bright side, I did find the recipe for their olive oil loaf and I made it, immediately. Then I made it again, tweaking it a bit, cutting back on the zest and using lemon instead of orange. The first round was good, the second was bang on. If you live in New York, I really do suggest going down to Abraco at some point, it has a great vibe and so much tasty food. However, no matter where you live I suggest you make this olive oil loaf, it's not too sweet and the olive oil imparts a nice richness of texture and flavor, it's perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack, especially with a side of iced coffee.
olive oil loaf
Olive Oil Cake
yield 8-10 servings
(adapted from Bon Appetit, who got it from Abraco)

1 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
2 large organic eggs
3/4 cup organic whole milk
1/2 cup mild-flavored organic olive oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil and flour a 9×5×3-inch metal loaf pan. Combine eggs, milk, olive oil, and orange peel in medium bowl and whisk to blend. Gradually whisk egg mixture into dry ingredients. Transfer to prepared pan.
2) Bake Cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 60-65 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 20 minutes. Invert pan to remove cake. Cool completely, top side up. Serve.


Anonymous said...

this was delicious!!

Emily said...

Ahh!! I'm completely taken with abraco, and I was trying to figure out if I could make this at home (even though I live all of 2 blocks from the place and have coffee there like 3 times a week!) thanks for posting it! Maybe I'll see you there sometime ;)