2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Grated peel of 1 lemon
1/2 cup water
(2 heaping tablespoons Dutch cocoa, if making a marble cake)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour a 5- by 9-inch loaf pan. (I like to use a French 10″X3″ loaf pan). Line bottom and up the ends of pan with wax paper or parchment, and butter this also. (this will make it easier to unmold).
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Beat the eggs with a mixer to break up well.
Add the sugar and beat until the eggs are light yellow and thick, a few minutes.
Add the vanilla. Slowly pour the olive oil into the mixer bowl with the mixer on, mixing till well combined. Add the grated lemon peel.
Add the flour and water alternating, starting and ending with flour.
For an all-yellow cake, pour all the batter into the prepared pan.
For a marble cake, pour about 2/3 to 3/4 of the batter into the prepared pan.
Add the cocoa to the little batter left in the mixer bowl. Beat by hand until smooth.
Pour the chocolate batter on top of the plain batter. Use a thin spatula or a knife to swirl the chocolate mix into the white batter.
Bake 1 hour, or until the top of the cake has browned and mounded. If the top cracks, it’s all right – this often happens with pound cakes.
Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold, peel off wax paper and cool right side up.
Best made the day before, wrap in foil. Flavor will develop more fully.
Note: for a change, add to batter the grated peel of 1 orange or 1 tangerine. Wonderful!