Chocolate and Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla Bean Candied Kumquats

7 ounces 70% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup (4 oz.) Blood Orange Fused Olive Oil

1 cup (7 oz.) granulated cane sugar, divided

5 large eggs at room temperature, separated

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Cocoa powder for dusting

whipped cream for serving (optional)
 
Vanilla Bean Candied Kumquats Ingredients:
2 cups fresh kumquats sliced in half lengthwise, seeds removed
2 cups granulated cane sugar
2 cups water
1 vanilla bean sliced open lengthwise


Candied Kumquats:

In a heavy three-four quart saucepan, dissolve the sugar in to the water.  Slowly bring to a simmer over medium low heat.  Add the sliced kumquats and lower the heat.  Bring to a gentle simmer being very mindful that the sugar syrup does not foam up and overflow.  Cook at a gentle simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the vanilla bean and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.  Strain the syrup, discarding the vanilla bean, and place back in to the saucepan.  Reduce the syrup to one cup over medium-low heat.  Cool syrup reduction and pour over candied kumquats.       

 
Cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack positioned in the middle. Line the bottom of a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Put the chocolate in a large stainless-steel bowl and melt it over simmering water. Whisk it until it is smooth. Add the olive oil, whisking in a steady stream. Whisk in 2/3 cup of the sugar, the egg yolks, then the flour and salt. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed with the whisk attachment until they start to foam. Add about a third of the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. Beat until the whites become opaque, then add another third of the sugar. When the whites begin to increase in volume and become firmer, add the rest of the sugar and turn the mixer speed to high. Beat until the whites form soft peaks when the whisk is lifted from the bowl. They will still look slightly wet.

Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture in two additions. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until the cake is puffed and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean or with only a few crumbs clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes.

Let the cake cool completely, still in the pan, on a rack. It will deflate as it cools. Run a table knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Peel off the parchment paper. Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature, with  a spoonful of candied kumquats and reduced syrup and or a dollop of whipped cream if desired.