This recipe is based on Alice Waters' famed olive oil and
Sauternes cake. Don't be dismayed when the cake drops like a
soufflé - it's supposed to.
5eggs, separatedFinelygrated rind of 2 oranges (reserve juice for syrup)165 gm(¾ cup) caster sugar125 ml(½ cup) mild-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil125 mlvin santo2eggwhites½ tspcream of tartar150 gm(1 cup) plain flourFor dusting:icing sugarCandied oranges in syrup2oranges, ends trimmed and discarded, cut into 5mm-thick slices325 gmcaster sugar160 gmlight corn syrup40 mlvin santo
Preheat oven to 180C. Whisk yolks, orange rind and half the sugar in an electric mixer until thick and pale (5-6 minutes). Whisking continuously, add oil in a thin, steady stream until emulsified. Gradually add vin santo, whisk to combine, then transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Whisk eggwhite and cream of tartar in a clean bowl in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (4-5 minutes), gradually add remaining sugar and whisk until stiff and glossy (1-2 minutes). Fold one-third of eggwhite mixture into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining eggwhite mixture to combine. Sift over flour, fold through and spoon into a buttered 24cm-diameter springform tin, lined with baking paper, and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 160C, bake until puffed and dark golden (15-20 minutes), then turn off oven. Place a buttered round of baking paper on top of cake, stand in oven for 20 minutes, then remove and cool in tin.
Meanwhile, for candied oranges in syrup, place orange slices in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil over medium heat, drain and repeat three times. Combine sugar, corn syrup, reserved orange juice and 80ml water in a large saucepan, stir over medium heat until simmering and sugar is dissolved. Add orange slices, bring to the boil, then simmer over low heat until orange slices are translucent and syrup is thick (30-40 minutes). Remove from heat, add vin santo and set aside.
Remove paper from cake, release from tin and transfer to a plate. Remove orange slices from syrup, arrange on top of cake, dust with icing sugar and drizzle with syrup. Torta is best eaten on day of making.