Slideshow: Behind the Scenes: How to Make the Olive Oil Cake at Michael White's Ai Fiori

Olive oil cake
Olive oil cake
An elegantly presented dessert that is actually fairly easy (although time consuming) to make.
Pastry chef Alina Martell
Pastry chef Alina Martell
Chef Martell whips together this dessert like it's second nature.
Making the cake batter
Making the cake batter
Step one to any delicious baked good: lots of butter
Making the cake batter
Making the cake batter
Adding an egg
Making the cake batter
Making the cake batter
The olive oil must be drizzled in very slowly!
Making the cake batter
Making the cake batter
The rest of the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) and milk are added together
Olive oil cake
Olive oil cake
It comes out of the oven with a crisp, golden brown crust.
Olive oil cake
Olive oil cake
The crust is trimmed off and the cake is cut into perfect circles.
Olive oil cake
Olive oil cake
I got to snack on the leftover crusty bits and let me tell you, they are ADDICTIVE. If they served the edge bits alone I would be a pretty happy camper.
Mascarpone mousse
Mascarpone mousse
...and combined with softly whipped heavy cream
Mascarpone mousse
Mascarpone mousse
The mousse is piped into the molds and frozen before the next layer can be added
Pistachio cremeux
Pistachio cremeux
The pistachio cremeux (pistachio paste, white chocolate, and creme anglaise) is part 2 of the 3-step laying-and-freezing process
Frozen things
Frozen things
Fresh from the freezer
Frozen things
Frozen things
Three perfect layers!
Strawberry topping
Strawberry topping
Chef Martell slices perfect strawberries imported from sunny California, though she uses ones from the local farmer's market when they are in season
Candy garnish
Candy garnish
Last but not least, multiple types of sugar are melted together, re-solidified, and then ground back up into a fine homogeneous powder
Candy garnish
Candy garnish
After the addition of bits of candied violet, the sugar-circles are flash-melted one last time
Candy garnish
Candy garnish
There you have it, twice-melted candy garnishes!