I love to cook with local and organically grown ingredients and produce as much as possible. But when it comes to certain ingredients, one has to resort to using ingredients pertaining to other countries.
Take olive oil for instance, which is a prime ingredient in today’s cake. Olive oil is produced in Spain, Italy and Greece and we all know what good quality olive oil can do to a mediterranean meal. The same rule applies to other ingredients like hazelnuts, chestnuts and other ingredients which are not indigenous to our country. They have to be used to produce certain flavour combinations.
So this cake was made with European olive oil and local ingredients like flour, sugar, almonds and cream.
This cake is unbelievably moist and soft with an intense chocolate flavour. If you are skeptical about olive oil in a cake then don’t be as this one has no pronounced smell of the oil although the oil lends a lot of flavour and softness to the cake.
If you want to know more about this cake and how I went about doing this post, then I have some news for you. I am going to be conducting a workshop in the Annapoorna World Of Food Fair at the Bombay Exhibition centre, Mumbai on 26th September 2012 between 03:00-03.45 pm, where I'm going to talking about DivineTaste and my approach to foodwriting/blogging and food photography in general.
I was given a recipe to showcase as part of the programme for “ European Quality Foods: Eating With Your Five Senses” which is sponsored by the European Union, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment of Spain and the Spanish Food and Beverage Industry Federation (FIAB). You can also stay tuned for updates and pictures through my facebook and twitter feeds.
I adapted the recipe to be eggfree and made some other modifications apart from simplifying a few steps.
If you love dark chocolate or potent chocolate flavours then this is perfect for you. Despite being egg free it holds its shape well and like I said earlier has a soft and moist texture with exquisite chocolate flavours.
You could serve it plain with coffee or tea or do a frosting for a more elaborate version. Either ways it won’t disappoint!
Chocolate And Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cake Recipe
You can make this cake plain or stir in almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or raisins into the cake mixture before baking. You could also dust the cake with some icing sugar.
70 gm (10 tbsp) cornstarch
150 gm plain flour (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
28 gm (4 tbsp) cocoa powder
150 gm (1 cup) icing sugar or fine sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
100 gm (3/4 cup) ground almonds
20 ml (1 tbsp +1 tsp) clarified butter or melted butter (can substitute with ghee)
60 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
50 gm dark chocolate, chopped
200 ml cream (I used 25% fat, you can also use 35% fat)
100 gm (1/2 cup) inverted sugar or golden syrup*
1 tsp vanilla extract
125 ml (1/2 cup) water
Grease and line an 8” square or a 9” round tin with greaseproof paper.
In a bowl assemble all the dry ingredients except the powdered almonds, the cornstarch, flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar, baking powder and soda and sieve together to make the mixture uniform and lump free.
In a saucepan, heat the clarified butter and when it melts completely stir in the olive oil. Put in the chopped chocolate and turn off the heat. Whisk with a spoon until the chocolate melts. Stir in the cream and whisk again.
In a large bowl put in the golden syrup and the chocolate mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract and the water.
Add the ground almonds and mix with a hand blender or a whisk if you have strong hands. (Or use a food processor).
Heat the oven to 175 C/350F.
Slowly mix in the sifted dry ingredients little by little and beat until you have a smooth mixture. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, reducing the temperature to 150 C/300F after 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before turning it over a rack to cool. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing it.
Makes one 8” square or a 9” round cake.
Recipe adapted from "European Quality Foods: Eating With Your Five Senses"
* The golden syrup adds a lot of moistness to the cake. If you don't have access to it, try making your own.