Coleen Kirnan from Tuscan Women Cook is with us to talk about her immersive Tuscan cooking tours which are up and running again! There’s even a new online marketplace so you can shop the area even if you can’t get there yet.
Coleen has been welcoming guests to Montefollonico in the province of Sienna for over 20 years, after a drastic midlife change in her career. She creates an insider’s Italian itinerary filled with friendly, knowledgeable tour guides, translators, and private cooking classes in local rustic kitchen with nonas. Below, she shares a recipe for Tuscan Olive Oil Cake!
2 cups all-purpose flour 2 Tbsp corn starch 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 cup light olive oil 1 1/4 cup milk 3 large eggs 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract ½ cup lemon juice Zest from 3 lemons Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan. Line bottom and sides with parchment paper OR dust it with flour. 2. Stir together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl until well combined. 3. Combine the olive oil and milk in a separate bowl. 4. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Stir in the extract, lemon juice and zest. Stir in the dry ingredients alternating with the olive oil mixture in two or three additions. Use a flexible spatula and mix only enough to ensure that the flour is moistened. 5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is set and golden on top, for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake will have risen slightly, and the top will spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. 6. Cool the cake for 20 minutes on a cooling rack. Carefully unmold the cake onto a serving plate. Allow the cake to cool completely. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before cutting it into wedges and serving.
Variations: Use any kind of nut or non-dairy milk in place of the whole milk.
Substitute any kind of citrus juice and zest for the lemon juice and lemon zest. Or use a combination. Orange and lemon juice are common. Use limoncello or vin santo in place of the lemon juice too.
Orange flower water, rose water or grappa may be used in place of the vanilla extract.
Women Beyond a Certain Age is an award-winning weekly podcast with Denise Vivaldo. She brings her own lively, humorous, and experienced viewpoint to the topics she discusses with her guests. The podcast covers wide-ranging subjects of importance to older women.