You may think of olive oil as a strictly "savoury" cooking fat, but its fruity, grassy flavour can add surprising depth to all sorts of desserts. Photo by Mattie Hagedorn.
Getting this tasty oil in your sweets isn't as easy as a simple one-to-one swap with butter, but it's not incredibly difficult. According to baking maven Alice Medrich, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Pick recipes that call for liquid fat: Look for recipes that call for melted butter, such as brownies or Medrich's chocolate almond torte, and use "10-15% less oil than the amount of butter called for" to prevent a greasy outcome.
- Pick a recipe that compliments the oil's flavour: Chocolate, nuts, fruits and all kinds of aromatics play super well with olive oil, so don't be afraid of dialling up the taste factor.
- You may not get a ton of browning: Nothing browns like butter, so olive oil may not be your best bet for crispy cookies. One exception are super delicate tuiles. Medrich notes she has "had great success with extra-virgin olive oil tuiles", and that "they come out gorgeously golden brown and totally crispy".
If you need a recipe to get started, try the aforementioned chocolate torte (linked below), or try tweaking a classic Genoise cake or pound cake. Olive oil brownies also sound downright decadent in the most refined way possible, especially if you top them with a few giant flakes of crunchy salt.