Another upside to baking with olive oil is that it is rich in monounsaturated fats; unlike butter and vegetable oil. Using olive oil helps cut back on the cholesterol and saturated fat content of your desserts.
Be sure to choose a mild flavored olive oil for baking; usually one of the less expensive bottles. Bertolli Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil is a perfect example. It's delicate, barely there taste gives you all the health benefits without compromising flavor.
Though perfect for baking I wouldn't recommend the Extra Light variety to dress salads, or for use as a dipping oil. Bertolli makes other oils for this purpose; like their Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil In order to give you a chance to experience this for yourself my Virtual Potluck group has teamed with Bertolli to offer one reader a Prize Pack of 3 totally different Bertolli Oils. ***See contest details below.***
But first I'd like to share this recipe for Chocolate Cherry Olive Oil Cupcakes with Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting.
Chocolate Cherry Olive Oil Cupcakes with Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Bertoli Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons cherry extract
2 cups cold water
Maraschino Cherries for topping
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. With a hand mixer on low speed beat in the oil, vinegar, cherry extract, and water until smooth. Pour the mixture into the cupcake pans.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a cake skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over-bake.
Put the cupcake pans on cooling racks and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before removing from the pans to cool completely. Frost when cool.
2 8-ounce packages Philadelphia Lite Cream Cheese, at room temperature
3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon cherry extract (or syrup from Maraschino cherries)
Beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth; gradually add in enough of the sugar to make a smooth frosting that is not runny. Stir in the cherry extract.
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