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Clementine Olive Oil Cake

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I can't believe I spent a good portion of my 48 years on this planet cardamom-free but now that we've become acquainted, it's been absolutely lovely. Between the Swedish meatballs, gingersnaps, and this clementine cake, I'm a convert this pungent and warm spice. While I'll never forget my stalwart spice companions like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger -- I suspect cardamom will find its way into all sorts of dishes in my kitchen!

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Citrus season is such a welcome part of winter. I love the abbreviated, cold, and snowy days of winter but the grocery store aisles full of oranges, lemons, clementines, and grapefruit are a bright counterpoint to our white-washed landscape. This cake has a good balance of citrusy and warm, herbaceous flavors (from the cardamom, olive oil, and rosemary) that's nice after a hearty meal like stew or an Indian curry. It keeps very well and is the perfect tea-time treat as well. 

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Clementine Olive Oil Cake
(inspired by Food 52's Clementine Pound Cake)

12 tablespoons butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (1 teaspoon if you're using freshly ground cardamom)
1 tablespoon clementine zest
1/3 cup fresh clementine juice
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

Glaze
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup fresh clementine juice

Preparation
Heat the oven to 350F. Butter and line a 8 inch x 3 inch round cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, olive oil and sugars together on medium speed until light and smooth, about 3 - 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium, mix in the eggs, one at a time, until completely blended. 

Stir in 1 cup of the flour, followed by the salt, baking powder, vanilla, cardamom, rosemary, clementine zest and juice and combine thoroughly. Add the sour cream and the rest of the flour. Beat until the batter is smooth and consistent, but do not over-beat!

Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the edges are browned and just pulling away from the sides of the pan, and a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. While the cakes cooling, mix the confectioner's sugar and clementine juice together until smooth. After 10 minutes, poke holes the cake and pour the glaze over the cake and let sit for another 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to release it from the pan, and place on the wire rack to cool completely.

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