Pretty in pink olive and rose cake

This was my 2nd/3rd take on the “Bomb-ass” Poosh cake. For those who were unaware, Poosh is Kourtney Kardashian’s company, and they did a collaboration with an olive oil cake bakery called Little House of Confections to bring to life this cute little pink olive oil cake, which they called the Poosh cake. The original version is this bright pink olive oil cake finished with pink powdered sugar and topped with a globe amaranth flower. Now I didn’t know that was what the flower was when I made my rendition the first time, so I went with ruby chocolate and blood orange instead to approximate the color. It took a lot of soaking with blood orange juice, but that original version worked out. That being said, it was not 100% accurate. Probably not even 60% accurate. So I wanted to make one that was closer, if not near identical. Below was that 2nd attempt:

I will admit that I did attempt to dye this cake pink naturally using pitaya powder. Fun fact, baking pitaya powder into cake batter for a pink coloration just plain doesn’t work, so the pitaya’s pink color basically baked off completely, and left me with a normal-looking olive oil cake. But I felt like sharing the attempt and this recipe anyways, since the cake tasted nice, regardless of whether or not I was able to get that natural pink coloration in there(if you want it to be pink, just use pink gel food coloring is my conclusion after about 5 or 6 attempts at dying the cake pink using pitaya powder). This version, I used semolina flour and olive oil in a chiffon cake batter, which resulted in a fluffy and light olive oil cake that still had flavors reminiscent of the Mediterranean. I personally love semolina, because it greats a more robust crumb(as a result of it being a grain that has a TON of gluten in it), so using it in cakes and cookies is always a welcome addition for me. This is sort of a recipe and a half, because I did remake the Poosh cake itself with this recipe, but I also made an entire layer cake with pink rose French buttercream as well, just because I wanted to incorporate more pink into this dessert someway, somehow, and as a layer cake was how I figured.

So if you are looking to make just the Poosh cake, it will be a singular round of rose-olive oil chiffon cake finished with pink Pitaya sugar and topped with an amaranth flower. Just follow the steps to make those components in the below recipe and you are there(if you only want to make a singular Poosh cake, halve the recipe for the chiffon cake, since that will actually make enough batter for 2 Poosh cakes!). For the entire layer cake, we have those components plus a rose milk soak, Turkish delight, and a rose French buttercream to finish. What I like about this is that you have options, depending on how much time you are willing to spend on this recipe. The simpler recipe is delicious and perfect as a quick snack to nibble on, but the more complex one is the perfect cake for an afternoon tea party. The beauty behind using olive oil in this recipe is that it adds this robust fragrance to the cake and buttercream that would not be there normally. It almost tastes rustic. The Turkish delight are also tons of fun to make from scratch, just because they are beautiful to look at and have rose flavor imparted into them through being seasoned with rose water, and dyed naturally pink using pitaya powder!

For the olive oil chiffon:
4 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp rose water
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup semolina flour
2 tbsp all-purpose flour

Whip egg whites with sugar to stiff peaks. In another bowl, mix together the other ingredients until just combined. Fold the egg whites into the other ingredients. Pour onto a parchment-lined quarter sheet tray and spread into an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Alternatively, divide the batter between two parchment-lined 6-inch cake rounds and bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. For the even layer-spread version, cut out 3 6-inch rings of cake. For the divided by two version, you can either dust those off with pink sugar to make the Poosh cake, or slice them in half to form 4 layers for your cake(this recipe only needs 3 layers, so I recommend snacking on the spare layer, which is what I did).

For the Turkish delight:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 packet gelatin powder
2 cups water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp pitaya powder
1/2 tsp rose water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a pot, whisk sugar, cornstarch, gelatin, water, and lemon juice on low heat until thickened and translucent. Once the mixture clings to your whisk, take off heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Pour into a silicone bar mold or a shallow container lined with parchment and freeze for at least 1 hour. Cut into 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch cubes. Keep frozen for assembly.

For the olive oil-rose French buttercream:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp pitaya powder
1/4 cup water
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp rose water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 sticks unsalted butter

Heat up sugar, salt, pitaya powder, and water until reduced by half. Whisk into the egg yolks and olive oil first. Then whisk in the rose water and vanilla. Finally, whip in the butter, continuously mixing until emulsified. Transfer into a piping bag and keep at room temperature for assembly.

For the rose milk soak:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp rose water
a pinch of salt

Mix together. Keep refrigerated until time to assemble.

For the pink sugar:
2 tbsp pitaya powder
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Blend in a spice grinder until combined. Store in an airtight container until time to use.

To assemble:
Dried globe amaranth flowers

Start with 1 round of cake first. Add on the soak, then 1/4 of the buttercream, and 1/3 of your Turkish delight. Repeat for the next layer. For the 3rd layer, start with soak and buttercream. Then spread the remaining buttercream around the sides of your cake in an even layer(I recommend a cake turntable and a bench scraper). Freeze the cake so that you can transfer it to the desired serving surface. Then dust with the pink sugar, and garnish the top with Turkish delight cubes and the amaranth flowers to finish.

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