It's been a crazy week. I haven't had much time for baking and have mostly been running around doing back to back errands. We're ending it with an impromptu visit from my parents and there was a definite need for something rich and chocolatey this afternoon! This is Nigella's recipe for Chocolate Olive Oil & Almond Cake and is both gluten and dairy free - and I can assure you that the lack of either of these does not compromise the taste of this lovely little cake! A couple of changes I might try next time would be to exchange the almond meal for plain flour (needed for anyone with a nut allergy), add instant espresso in place of the vanilla or use coconut sugar in place of the regular white sugar.
I had a slice about 15 mins out of the oven and just warm, it was seriously delicious and would only be improved with a dash of vanilla ice-cream, I think. There are lots of flourless chocolate cake recipes with dark chocolate, but I wanted one that was made from cocoa so chose this one from Nigella and I would wholehearted recommend this for Sunday lunch with friends, a dinner party or maybe even a weekend afternoon treat. It's also very simple to make :)
Chocolate Olive Oil & Almond Cake
- 150ML OLIVE OIL (PLUS A LITTLE MORE FOR GREASING THE CAKE TIN)
- 50G GOOD-QUALITY SIFTED COCOA POWDER (I USED GREEN & BLACK'S)
- 125ML BOILING WATER
- 2 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- 150G GROUND ALMONDS
- ½ TSP BICARBONATE OF SODA
- PINCH OF SALT
- 200G CASTER SUGAR
- 3 LARGE EGGS
- ICING SUGAR FOR DUSTING
- Preheat your oven to 170°C. Grease an 8" springform tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.
- Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract and then set it aside to cool a little.
- In another bowl, combine the ground almonds with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.
- Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into a mixer and beat together on fast speed for 3 minutes (it should be a pale, aerated and thickened cream).
- Turn the speed down a little and slowly pour in the cocoa mixture. When it's mixed in, scrape down the side of the bowl and then slowly tip in the ground almond mixture with the mixer still running.
- Scrape down the sides again and then pour this 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.
- Leave it to 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.
- Eat warm or leave to cool, if you can wait that long!