Butternut Squash Olive Oil Cake with Amoretti Cookie Glaze
For the Cake
2 Butternut Squash (or 2 cups pureed butternut squash)
1 Cup Chopped pecans
2 Cups Unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tsp. Baking powder
½ Tsp. Baking soda
1 Tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tsp. Ground cinnamon
½ Tsp. Nutmeg
½ Tsp. Ground cloves
3 Large eggs, separated
1¾ Cups Granulated sugar
1 Cup ENZO Organic Delicate Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
For the Glaze
⅓ Cup Granulated sugar
1 Cup Confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. cold water
2 Tsp. Vanilla extract
2-3 Amoretti Cookies, grated
To Puree the Butternut Squash, preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the squash into quarters and place in a roasting pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with water and cover the pan with foil. Place the pan in the oven for 1.5 – 2 hours or until the squash is soft enough to place a fork completely through. Remove the squash from the oven and let cool. Scoop out the squash from the skin and puree the squash until smooth.
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F and position rack in the center. Grease a 10-cup Bundt pan using nonstick cooking spray or butter, then dust it with flour to coat it completely, tapping out the excess flour.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices into a medium bowl and set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they form a peak and set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and olive oil together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes), beat in the vanilla extract, then mix in the butternut squash puree. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula after each addition.
Beat in the dry ingredients all at once on low speed until they are thoroughly combined, then switch the mixer to medium speed and mix for 30 seconds. Beat in the pecans on low speed until they are completely incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Remove the bowl from the mixer and take out the paddle attachment. With a spatula fold the egg whites into mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. The cake is done when a tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.
While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together cold water, vanilla extract and granulated sugar, then mix in the confectioners’ sugar until the glaze is completely smooth.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully invert onto a wire rack. Using a pastry brush, immediately brush the glaze over the entire surface of the warm cake, using all of the glaze; it will adhere to the cake and set as the cake cools. Immediately after all the glaze is brushed on shave the amoretti cookies on top of the glaze, the cookies will stick to the glaze as it cools on the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely and the glaze to dry completely.
Transfer the cake to a stand or serving plate and, if desired, lightly dust it with confections’ sugar. Any leftover cake may be wrapped in plastic and served the following day.