March 13, 2021
My family loves when I make a chocolate cake. So do all my friends who are my tasters and who critique my baking for me. There is just something about chocolate cake that makes people happy.
So here’s a chocolate cake that has a lot going for it. Not only is it delicious as is, you can easily make it gluten free. Its “not too sweet” flavor makes it an easy cake to love. The fact that this is an olive oil cake, therefore parve, and kosher for passover if made gluten free, is a happy coincidence. Made with flour, the cake is not overwhelmingly dense. Made with almond flour it is slightly heavier, but still has a perfect crumb.
One of my English friends, Lara, suggested I try this recipe. Her family adores it. She took it from a Nigella Lawson cookbook called Nigellissima. And I thank her wholeheartedly for sharing it with me. Nigella, also English, is an icon. My introduction to her baking came from one of her early books, How To Be A Domestic Goddess. A must have for all bakers. So I wasn’t surprised when this cake turned out to be such a treat to make and to eat.
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (That Can Also be Made Gluten Free)
Adapted from Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson
2/3 cup (150 ml) regular olive oil
6 tablespoons (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cups + 1 Tablespoon (125 grams) all-purpose flour (or 1 1/2 cups -150 grams- almond flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch of kosher salt
1 cup (200 grams) superfine sugar (if you don’t have you can use granulated sugar)
3 large eggs
Preheat your oven to 325ºF. Lightly grease a 9 inch springform pan (the one with the latch) with olive oil and line the bottom with parchment paper. (I placed the round pan on a baking sheet so that none of the olive oil dripped into the oven - I fear I may have used too much.)
Measure and sift the unsweetened cocoa into a small bowl and whisk in the boiling water until combined. Add the vanilla and whisk again.
In another small bowl, combine the flour (or almond flour) with the baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, add the sugar, olive oil and, eggs. Mix on medium for 3 minutes until your mixture looks like thickened cream and is a bright yellow color.
Turn the speed to low and add in the cocoa mixture. When combined slowly add the flour (almond) mixture until just combined.
Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula and give the batter a few stirs to make sure everything is mixed in. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the sides set and the very center, the top, still looks slightly underdone. A skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few sticky crumbs clinging to it.
Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Run a knife carefully around the edge of the cake to loosen it. Next remove it from the tin and let it cool on a metal rack. To serve, you can sprinkle confectioners sugar on the top or the cake can be accompanied by ice cream, berries or whipped cream.