Tiger Cake

This is a really fun cake. Not only is it called Tiger Cake (who would turn down a cake with that kind of awesome name!?), but as soon as you cut a slice, the cake looks like you spent forever making the beautiful swirls inside.

Secret: you did not. You did not spend forever making the beautiful swirls inside - because it's magic.

Or it's just that the batter marbles itself as the leaveners begin reacting from the heat of the oven.

One of the two.

Anyway, this cake is also really fun because it is made with olive oil and pinch of white pepper. Sound strange? I know. Stay with me. The flavors are very subtle and so delicious. The pepper does its work behind the scenes - it doesn't stand out as a dominant flavor at all. The job of the pepper is to accentuate the olive oil flavor, which it does just beautifully.

I was a bit hesitant before trying this cake - pepper in cake? Really? Pepper. Hesitation finally set aside, I decided to trust Alice Medrich's award-winning reputation.

And it honestly works. Somehow.

Maybe it's magic, after all.

Notes: I decreased the amount of sugar in the original cake from 2 cups to 1 1/2 cups because I prefer my desserts a little less sweet. If you like your cakes on the sweeter side, I would leave the sugar at 2 cups. Also, Alice notes that natural cocoa is a must in this recipe because Dutch-process adds an unpleasant taste since it reacts with the leavening and olive oil in the cake.

Adapted from Bittersweet