On my way home from vacation, I am usually certain that I will eat nothing but lettuce for the next three weeks. I wasn’t home three days before I was back in the kitchen making this Orange Almond Olive Oil Cake. (There’s a mouth full for ya!) One of the things we brought home from our trip to Siena and Florence (besides a case of wine and heaps of dirty laundry) was 1/2 an open bottle of Vin Santo. For the uninitiated, Vin Santo is a Tuscan dessert wine, usually made from Trebbiano and Malvasia. After they’re harvested, the grapes are dried on straw mats to concentrate the sugars, which gives Vin Santo a beautiful caramel-ly, nutty flavor.
We’re not usually big on sweet wine, but found ourselves easily adopting the Tuscan tradition of ending dinner with a few small biscotti and a tiny glass of Vin Santo. Realizing that *someone* already munched their way through the last of the biscotti we had picked up, I was hunting for a not-too-sweet dessert to try. I immediately thought of a dense, moist, almond olive oil cake that one of my colleagues brought to the office a few years ago. It was so delicious, and in my mind “so Italian.” I loved the way her cake turned out, but I was looking for something a little more delicate. So, I decided to work from a recipe I found in Food & Wine for Orange Olive Oil Cake. Basically, I swapped out part of the flour for almond meal and added a teaspoon of almond extract for good measure. Voila! Orange Almond Olive Oil Cake….