Chocolate cake for a rainy Wednesday (+ recipe!)

June 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA On Wednesdays, school in Belgium lets out at noon. This might seem like a cushy deal (for the kids anyway), but in my experience Wednesday is the craziest day of the week. There’s the mad dash home for lunch, persuading the youngest and soon-to-be-grumpy member of the family to take a nap, and then waking him up prematurely (and grumpy) in order to get to whatever activity has been signed up for. So on a recent gray and rainy Wednesday it didn’t take too much complaining of some probably make-believe malady to convince me to skip the activity for one day—and make a chocolate cake instead. Not just any chocolate cake, but one made with olive oil. It’s based on this recipe by Nigella Lawson, which I came across recently. I made the version that uses flour instead of ground almonds. I used a little bit less sugar and mixed all-purpose and whole wheat flours. Unsurprisingly for a chocolate cake from Nigella, it is delicious. It’s very moist, and while the olive oil taste isn’t at all overpowering, you can tell this cake is a little different. And because we all know how good cocoa is for us, I think this could even be considered almost healthy, right? (RIGHT?)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Nigella says to beat the eggs, olive oil, and sugar until they are a “pale primrose” color. Is this right? I actually have no idea what color primrose is.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Have I mentioned how in love I am with my covered cake plate?photo 1-6photo-78 Here’s the recipe (in metric, but you can search online for cup equivalents):

Chocolate–Olive Oil Cake

  • 50 g good-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 125 ml boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 125 g flour (I used all-purpose and whole wheat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325°F/170°C. Grease 9-inch springform pan with olive oil. Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl, and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract and set aside to cool. In another smallish bowl, combine the flour with baking soda and salt. Put the sugar, olive oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat vigorously for about 3 minutes, or until you have a pale primrose, aerated, thickened cream. Turn the speed down and pour in the cocoa mixture. Once it is all incorporated, fold in the flour mixture. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 35 minutes (Nigella says 40–45 minutes, but mine was done sooner), or until the sides are set and the very center, on top, still looks slightly damp. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, and then ease the sides of the cake with a thin spatula and remove it from the pan.

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