Chocolate olive oil cake


April is a month of birthdays at my house. And thus a month of baking as well – so there will be plenty of gluten and dairy free celebration recipes to share with you over the coming weeks.

We kicked off the festivities with a chocolate olive oil cake that is one of my family’s firm favorites. It is a very rich, moist cake that is a breeze to make (especially with a small helper) and appeals to adults and children alike. I made the cake with my daughter and we used a peppery Spanish olive oil that gave the cake a bit of a kick – but you can stick with a mild olive oil for a more classic taste.

Chocolate olive oil cake (from a Nigella Lawson recipe)

50g unsweetened cocoa powder

100ml boiling water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

150g ground almonds

1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

a pinch of salt

3 large eggs

200g caster sugar

150ml olive oil

Serves 8 (generous slices) to 16 (dainty slices)

Preheat your oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

Measure the cocoa powder into a bowl, then slowly add the boiling water and whisk well until the mixture forms a thick chocolate paste. Add the vanilla extract then set aside to cool.

In another bowl, combine the ground almonds, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the sugar and olive oil using a handheld or standing electric mixer until the mixture is pale and creamy, about two minutes, then gradually add the chocolate paste and mix well.

Fold in the dry ingredients, then pour the batter into a 23cm springform cake pan, lined and greased (I use ghee but you could also use a bit of oil). Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the sides are firmly set but the top is still slightly springy to the touch. Cool on a rack, then remove from the tin. Insert suitable number of candles.

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