Nigella Lawson has always been an inspiration to me. Through her simple recipes she conveys a message, that simple yet tasty food is attainable after a hard day at work.
When I came across her recipe for Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, I was interested to see how this very easy recipe would turn out if I made a chocolatey tweak. This recipe is gluten-free and dairy free too, so is kind to sensitive tummies.
The basic recipe calls for a mixture of cocoa powder and boiling water to be added to the cake batter. Well, being the chocolate-fiend that I am, I decided to try replacing this with melted dark chocolate. I had a bag of Barry Callebaut Ocoa 70% dark chocolate at hand, and so used this by melting it down in the microwave in thirty-second bursts to make a glossy paste. You can buy Ocoa chocolate here.
Now, I didn’t have any ground almonds at home, but I improvised by grinding up some flaked almonds in a small grinder until it resembled ground almonds. It turned out that the almond mixture was not as fine as shop brought stuff, but it definitely added texture!
Firstly, I started by heating my chocolate in the microwave. I estimated that around 150g would be similar to the cocoa powder and water mixture. I added the vanilla extract, then set aside while I blitzed the flaked almonds.
In a bowl, I placed the ground almonds in with the baking soda and pinch of salt.
Then I started working on the cake batter by putting the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of my mixer and beating hard for about 3 minutes. The mixture became pale, but didn’t really thicken up as much as I expected. I wonder if I needed to beat for a few more minutes.
Then I turned the mixer down and slowly added the melted chocolate, and when that had been incorporated, I scraped down the bowl and slowly poured in the almond mixture. The batter was very liquid, which worried me a little, but the recipe states this, so I carried on regardless!
After baking for for 45 minutes, the top was crispy and after turning out from the tin, this was the final result. Delicious!
The inside… The texture was light and airy, the cake itself was not too sweet, and I think on reflection, I may use a darker chocolate – maybe an 80-85% for a more indulgent chocolatey taste. A great summer pudding, served with some Greek yoghurt and raspberries. Yum!
If looking for a fruity twist, try Nigella’s Lemon Polenta Cake, which is super moist and tangy and equally as light and of course, wheat and dairy free!