Focaccia Cake + Spinach Dip

by Megan on January 23, 2012

Sometimes I have the worst ideas. For example, every time I smell pizza, and love it, I have the fleeting thought: “I wish I had a pizza-scented candle.” I think we all know that’d be gross, and it’d result in constant stomach rumbling. Double trouble.

However finagling foccacia bread into a layer-cake that can be lunch, is not a bad idea. Not that I have any problem with cake for lunch.

So let’s eat cake that’s basically a sandwich, and that’s definitely delicious.

Focaccia Bread {makes three 6-inch loaves}
Recipe adapted from Simply RecipesJamie Oliver

Ingredients:

bread –

  • 1 heaping t, (1/2 package) active dry yeast
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water, about 100ºF
  • 1 cup + 2 T water, at room temperature
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil + more for topping + greasing the pans
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups+ all-purpose flour
topping
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • cherry tomatoes
  • about 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil, julienned
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water. Let it rest for 10 minutes, or until super frothy.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil into the room temperature water. Add the frothy yeast water. Whisk in the salt and bread flour. Then, one cup at a time, whisk in the rest of the flour. As the mixture goes from a batter to a thick dough, you’ll want to switch to a wooden spoon. By  the time you get to the last cup of flour, you’ll be able to knead the dough. Begin to knead it in the bowl trying to incorporate the flour stuck to the sides and bottom of the bowl. Once the bowl is clean, turn dough out onto the cupboard and knead for 8 minutes, adding flour as necessary.*
  3. In a large clean bowl, pour in about a teaspoon of olive oil and using your hand or pastry brush, spread the oil out to cover the bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for an hour and a half, or until double in size.
  4. Brush the bottom of three 6-inch cake pans with olive oil, lining the bottoms with parchment paper brushing with additional olive oil. Divide the dough between the pans and use your fingertips dimple and spread the dough out to fit. Brush tops with olive oil and divide sliced tomatoes, parmesan, and basil between the loaves. Cover and set aside to rise for an hour and a half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. With 30 minutes to go before the rise finishes, place an iron skillet on the lowest shelf, or base of your oven. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Meanwhile heat up some water. Pour into the skillet when you place the loaves in the oven. The water will create steam for when the bread is baking.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is evenly golden, rotating half way through. Turn out onto a wire rack within 3-5 minutes of removing it from the oven; this will keep the bottom of the bread crispy. Cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.

*You can totally use your stand mixer for the dough. I sure did. Just use your paddle attachment until the last cup of flour.Then switch to the dough hook and knead on low for 8 minutes or until the sides of the bowl are clean.

Note: This bread takes awhile, rising twice and all. Feel free to make the loaves a day ahead and then make the spinach dip the next day. It’ll make assembling a breeze!

In the morning I tracked flour footprints through the entire flat. In the afternoon I trailed spinach leaves. It’s just how it goes, I guess.

Foccacia torte? Tomato cake? Lunch.

Spinach Dip {makes enough to fill three 6-inch loaves}
Recipe adapted from Picky Palette via this post

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • heaping 3 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 6 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup light sour cream
  • 6 T fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • a hefty pinch of kosher salt
  • a generous sprinkle of ground pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir spinach until wilted, about 3 minutes then add garlic, stir while cooking a minute then turn heat off.
  2. Sir together the cream cheese, sour cream, cooked spinach mixture, parmesan cheese, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined. Place in the fridge until loaves are cool enough to slice and fill.

You better believe I ate that piece of cake.*

*I had major self control until 8pm. I then ate another piece and felt so much better about life.

Pesto Cream Cheese {garnish for three 6-inch cakes}

Ingredients:

  • 1 T prepared pesto
  • 6 oz. cream cheese

Directions:

  1. Beat together the pesto and cream cheese. Pipe onto your lunch cake.

Assemble: Cut each loaf in half horizontally. I do this by placing toothpicks around the perimeter of the loaf exactly in half I then use a long serrated knife to cut above the toothpicks. (Like THIS minus the floss.) Otherwise, I promise, I’d have the most uneven layers ever. Divide spinach dip between each and top with the tomato-covered top of the bread. Pipe pesto cream cheese around the edges. Slice and serve.

P.S. Are you guys getting as excited for Valentine’s Day as I am?

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

cindy January 23, 2012 at 9:56 am

oh man! I just want to eat this and pizza right now. this is the prettiest bread and dip–I think it’s that cake outfit.

Reply

Megan January 23, 2012 at 10:43 am

Yes! I want every meal to be a cake. And can you believe this was the appetizer for a pizza dinner last night?!

Reply

cindy January 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm

carb party!

Reply

Megan January 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Yeah! Carb parties are right up there with fry parties!

Rebecca January 23, 2012 at 11:11 am

Haha, that’s kind of unsettling if you give it to someone expecting a cake. I am so excited for Valentine’s Day. I’m feeling all romantic and DIYish.

Reply

Megan January 23, 2012 at 11:15 am

haha I suppose if this was a cake prank people might feel weird, but as an appetizer it’s delicious! <3

And yes! I’m feeling just the same about Valentine’s Day.

Reply

heather January 23, 2012 at 11:34 am

I love how you think! And these photos are awesome!

Reply

Megan January 23, 2012 at 11:42 am

Thanks Heather! That means a ton! <3

Reply

Erica January 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Very creative! Looks just like a layer cake! Next you should make a sweet cake that LOOKS like a focaccia cake, with fondant tomatoes and mint leaves instead of spinach!

I’m mostly kidding, but that would be funny :)

Reply

Megan January 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Ha! Yes!

Reply

Dana January 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Super cute! I love this idea! It kind of reminds me of the meatloaf cake you can do, iced with mashed potatoes, but this is so much more cake like!

I was pretty down on Valentine’s day this year, my Mr is going to be away with the army; but we’ve decided to reschedule for when he gets back, so I’m excited again, even though it will be in March.

Reply

Megan January 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Thanks, Dana! It’s totally the sister cake to that one.

I’m glad you’re postponing Valentine’s Day to March. Then the holiday can just last longer! <3

Reply

NicoleD January 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Whoa, just whoa! I like how you think!

Reply

Megan January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Yay!

Reply

Kimberly January 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm

This is amazing! It is boggling my mind right now! And, I’m ready for Valentine’s Day. I bought a tool today for making mini heart shaped pies!

Reply

Megan January 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Thanks, lady!

Oooh, mini heart shaped pies sound just perfect! I’ve been craving pie lately for real.

Reply

Ashley January 24, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Not only is this the cutest idea ever, but I am totally excited for Valentine’s Day. I am going to mail care packages to friends and family and do something with my husband AND get together with coworkers to make treats for the office!

Reply

Megan January 25, 2012 at 10:21 am

Thanks, Ashley!

Oooh, it sounds like you’re in for a super-fun Valentine’s Day!

Reply

hannah January 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm

That is a sneaky cake. very sneaky. I like it.

Valentine’s day to me is seafood and chocolate. Getting stoked!

xox

Reply

Megan January 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm

It’s a trickster!

And yum!

Reply

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