Olive Oil Cake with Limoncello Mascarpone Cream

I have to be honest. I didn’t come up with this combination.

I was visiting a friend of mine in Lethbridge, and we went on a dinner date to a new Italian restaurant in town. We split one of their desserts: an olive oil cake with a limoncello mascarpone cream sauce. It was absolutely heavenly.

Well, my friend Jericka told me I HAD to try and recreate the cake at home, and I was up for the challenge. I mean, it was just an olive oil cake. The cream part was a little more complicated. I wasn’t sure about all of the meshing of the flavours, but then sure enough, Jericka found a recipe for just the cream we were looking for.

The original recipe for the cake was found here, and the recipe for the cream was here. Not going to lie, I made a few changes that I have reflected below in the recipe. Looking at the comments for the cake, I reduced the amount of olive oil ever so slightly, and switched out the orange flavourings for lemon. For the cream, I just used the cream part of the recipe, and whipped it by hand for about 5 minutes. I didn’t want a full-on whipped cream, so I stopped when it was thicker, at just barely soft peaks.

The cake and the cream paired perfectly together, and reminded me exactly of the cake I was attempting to recreate. I call that a success!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch round cake or 1 10 inch Bundt with cream

For the cake:

2 c. flour
1¾ c. sugar
1½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 c. olive oil
1¼ c. milk
3 eggs
1½ tbsp. grated lemon zest (or ½ tsp. lemon extract)
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. limoncello liqueur

For the cream:

¾ c. chilled whipping cream
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. limoncello liqueur

To make the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Liberally grease a 9 inch cake pan that is at least two inches tall. If you don’t have a pan that tall, use a springform pan or a Bundt pan. Make sure every corner is sprayed down with oil. If using a circular pan, line the bottom with parchment. If using a Bundt pan, use A LOT of oil to make sure that the cake comes out. (Mine stuck a bit… just warning you.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, milk, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest (or extract), and limoncello. Add in the dry ingredients, and whisk together until just combined.

Transfer batter to cake pan, and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven, and cool in pan for 30 minutes. Remove from cake pan, and allow to cool completely.

To make the limoncello cream, in a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, sugar, limoncello, and cheese. Whisk vigorously until mixture thickens to soft peaks, about 5-7 minutes.

To serve, slice cake, and top with cream.

Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of Red Lobster. It’s a popular seafood restaurant that is known for events like Lobster Fest, Shrimp Fest, and of course, the biscuits.

I’m not the biggest seafood fan, so I’ve only been to Red Lobster a handful of times, and usually for people I love that are celebrating, like my mom, or for Paul’s birthday. Every time I go, I usually order something salmon. It’s safe, and it’s not shellfish. (I just have an aversion to shellfish. Too fishy. Don’t judge. I know it’s an odd trait.)

The one thing I do love from Red Lobster is those freakin’ amazing Cheddar Bay biscuits. The fact that they never stop coming to the table is heaven for a carb-fiend like me. You can’t have Red Lobster without the biscuits, am I right?

Either way, I always see the Cheddar Bay biscuits box mix in Costco, and I’m always tempted to buy it. (Still haven’t though. Willpower.) I also have a hard time buying mixed for things that I know I can recreate with a little bit of Googling and a trip to my pantry.

So, I was in the mood for something a little savoury, and a little salty, but not too difficult or time-consuming. Cue these biscuits! I had pinned this recipe on Pinterest ages ago, but hadn’t actually got around to making them yet. So glad I did!

It’s been long enough that I can’t really remember the exact taste of Red Lobster biscuits (just the memory of the taste… garlicky, salty, cheese, buttery goodness), so these were perfect. Crisp on the outside, tender and soft on the inside, and of course, garlicky, salty, cheesy, and buttery. Copycat win! I got the recipe here, and holy were they ever easy to make! It took me less than an hour from start to finish (finish as in cramming these beauties into my mouth). The only thing I “changed” in the recipe is that I added a pinch (or less) of the Italian seasoning into the biscuit, and I also sprinkled a teensy bit of kosher salt onto the tops of the biscuits to really make the flavours pop. I’ve reflected these minuscule changes below.

Go make these! You will not be disappointed!

Ingredients

Yield: 8-12 biscuits, depending on size preference

For the biscuit:

1¾ c. flour
¾ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of Italian seasoning
5 tbsp. butter, softened
1 c. milk
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

For the garnish:

2 tbsp. butter, melted
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
½ tsp. (or 1 clove) minced garlic
Kosher or sea salt, for finishing

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Cut in the butter, either by mixing everything in a food processor, or with a pastry blender. The mixture should be pea-sized chunks.

Add in the milk and cheese, and stir to combine. The dough will be sticky.

With a large spoon, drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. If you want larger biscuits, like I did, make 8 fairly large dough balls. The original recipe makes 12 smaller biscuits.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the tops of the biscuits turn golden brown. (Mine took about 18-20 minutes.)

While the biscuits are baking, combine the topping ingredients by whisking together the melted butter, garlic, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.

Remove from the oven, and brush with the butter topping. Lightly sprinkle the buttered biscuits with salt, and cool slightly before serving.

These biscuits are best when warm.