Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (Gluten Free)
It is slightly heavier with the almonds -though not in a bad way- so if you want a lighter crumb, rather than a squiggly interior, and are not making the cake for the gluten-freaks, then replace the 150 gr ground almonds / 1 1/2 cups almond meal with 125 gr plain flour 3/4 plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. This has the built-in bonus of making it perhaps more suitable for an everyday cake.
Made with the almonds, it has more of supper-party pudding feel about it and I love it still a bit warm, with some raspberries or some such on the side, as well as a dollop of mascarpone or ice cream.
· 150 ml regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)
· 50 grs good-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
· 125 ml boiling water
· 2 teaspoons best vanilla extract
· 150 grs ground almonds (or 125 gr plain flour / 3/4 cup plus 1 tbspn all-purpose flour)
· 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
· 1 pinch of salt
· 200 grs caster sugar
· 3 large eggs
· Preheat your oven to 170ºC / gas mark 3/ 325ºF. Grease a 22 or 23 cm/ 9 inch 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 a 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 sped 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 mins 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.