Chocolate and Olive Oil Cake
As I was setting out to make this cake yesterday, I distinctly remember having this thought: “Thank God it’s always someone’s birthday and I get the perfect excuse to bake a cake”; and if said cake should contain chocolate, even better. I love chocolate cake and I love how there are so many varieties to test. I’m also a big believer in the fact that you can never have too much birthday cake.
I made this cake to celebrate a belated birthday and since there were going to be just four of us at the dining table, I decided to make a small cake. I also really wanted to make a lighter version of chocolate cake, with no refined sugar, olive oil instead of butter and not too much flour.
This cake is really unpretentious, it doesn’t take a lot of time to make, but the end result can look quite the opposite. You might want want to use regular sugar instead of what I used and also, if you like your cake moist, you’re probably going to have to make a syrup and soak your cake in it. If you decide to make this cake, keep in mind that you must allow the cake to cool completely before making the glaze, as you will need to pour the glaze over the cake while it is still hot; once the glaze cools, it will start to become solid.
For the cake:
60gr/½ cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 large free-range egg and 1 egg yolk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Grated zest from half a lemon or orange
80ml/1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
60gr/½ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
1/3 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp baking powder
2 figs, halved, for decorating
Preheat the oven to 180c/350F. Grease and line a 15cm/6in springform pan. Mix the cocoa with 60ml/¼ cup hot water until it becomes paste-like. In a small bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat coconut sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla and citrus zest until pale and thick, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Add the cocoa mixture and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture and using a wooden spoon, mix everything slowly until just incorporated. Pour into your springform pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
For the syrup (optional):
For the syrup:
125ml/2/3 cups water
1½ Tblsp maple syrup
Zest of one lemon/orange
Zest of one orange
Place the water and a maple syrup in a small saucepan set over low heat. When the mixture starts to bubble, remove from the heat, add the rest of the ingredients and leave to cool until using.
For the glaze:
120gr/4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 tsp maple syrup
4 Tblsp coconut oil, melted (feel free to substitute with olive oil)
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper, optional
In a small saucepan set over low heat, mix everything together until chocolate has melted.
Assembling the cake:
Once the cake has cooled completely, place it on the dish you will be using to serve. If you’ve made the syrup, spread it all over the cake with the aid of the spoon. Pour the hot glaze over the cake and decorate with the fig halves. Serve right away or put in the fridge after the glaze has cooled, until serving.