Since I bought my Kitchenaid late last year, I’ve been on a baking mission which I’ve called my 2015 “Cake Starter” project. Sadly, I haven’t really had the time to experiment with recipes as much as I’d like, and neither have I gotten my hands dirty to make my own pasta and have a crack at Momofuku’s famous crack pie. Well, there’s still seven months of 2015, so hopefully there’ll be more Cake Starter posts here.
There is one cake that I always turn to on the weekends, Nigella Lawson‘s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake. Not only is it kinda idiot-proof, it’s also great for those who are gluten intolerant. The cake is very moist and is made up of olive oil and ground almond – no butter or flour – and I especially love eating it straight out of the fridge for breakfast. It has so far been very well-received by my friends and family, so I thought why not share the recipe (and love for chocolate) with you too?
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
I recommend that you follow the recipe as closely as possible. This is one cake that doesn’t need extra frills and experimentation.
- 150 ml regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)
- 50 grams good-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
- 125 ml boiling water
- 2 teaspoons best vanilla extract
- 150 grams ground almonds (or 125g plain flour / 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour)
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 pinch of salt
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF. Grease a 22 or 23 cm/ 9inch springform tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.
- Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.
- In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.
- Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment (or other bowl and whisk arrangement of your choice) and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.
- Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground almond (or flour) mixture.
- Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.
- Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin. Leave to cool completely or eat while still warm with some ice cream, as a pudding.