three and a half operas down, two to go! the half opera was supposed to be a whole opera but then a tornado came down and all of our power blew away so we drank bourbon instead. have i mentioned that practically every other day there is a tornado warning?? sometimes it's scary, usually it's just rumbly and deliciously cloudy, once there was a meager little watch during dinner time and we went out in the name of rattlesnake sausage. we were fine until we learned that it was the wrong day for rattlesnake at the sausage place. obviously i was actually very relieved because obviously i didn't really want to eat rattlesnake, i just wanted to be able to tell you that i did. whatever, i'm over it.
in three days, i'll go home and once again be able to snuggle with my oven and kitchen-aid and eggboy, and i am so excited. but i will also miss my opera family dearly until we reconvene in california in june. i'll miss this music and our hotel lobby dinner parties and our post-show taco outings that end with one delicious square of condensed milk red velvet cake, passed around a table of 12. i'll miss all of that and the vibraphone.
but my heavens, it's been three entire weeks since i baked something and i can't hardly believe it. presumably the oven has been untouched since i left, and i can't wait to fill it with all of the cake and pizza and bread to make up for lost time.
i suppose before i start thinking about the first thing that i'm going to bake when i get home, i'll tell you about the last thing that i baked before i left. it is a loaf cake, because loaf cakes are so lovably cute and one day i want to have a loaf cake spread like the rose bakery loaf cake spread. this cake is also to celebrate the birthday of the wonderful melinda strauss over at kitchen tested!! it's super earthy and dark and moist and paired with candied bacon because bacon was the first word out of melinda's mouth when i asked her what type of cake she would like. never mind that she's kosher, the cake never made it within a thousand miles of her, but it's the thought (and the instagrams??) that count! happiest of birthdays to you, sweet melinda!!!
chocolate olive oil cake with candied bacon
makes one 2-layer loaf cake
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 c olive oil
1 1/4 c whole milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 c orange juice
the candied bacon and frosting recipes are over on melinda's blog!
preheat oven to 350.
grease two loaf pans (i use 8-inch by 4-inch pans) and line the bottoms with parchment.
in a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. in a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. pour the batter into the loaf pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. begin checking for doneness at about 40 minutes.
let cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then turn onto a cooling rack. turn the oven up to 400 for the bacon. go on over to melinda's blog for the candied bacon and frosting recipes and then assemble as follows:
level one of the cake layers and pipe or spread on a thick layer of frosting. if desired, add a handful of bacon. top it with the other cake layer and top with additional frosting and bacon.
slice and enjoy!