One of the most-requested bakes I’ve had recently is a reliable flourless chocolate cake. In fact, people have been seeking out my flourless recipes and the Guardian kindly linked to me in a feature on just that! So hello and welcome to new readers who found me this way. I’m aware not everyone is able to get their hands on the ingredients for my recipes just now, and hope to provide a mix of baking escapism but also some practical solutions too. Enter Diana Henry’s chocolate olive oil cake. It’s the most delicious flourless chocolate cake – scrap that, any chocolate cake I’ve tried. The combination of chocolate and olive oil seems a strange one, but you don’t taste the oil at all – it simply adds a richness and brownie-like gooeyness to the cake. I posted a bakealong of this recipe in my stories, so didn’t manage a step by step in photos too – but hopefully you find it helpful to see what you’re aiming for in a video this once! To make the chocolate olive oil cake, you will need:
200g plain chocolate, 70 per cent cocoa solids
125ml strong-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil
200g caster sugar
2 tablespoons ground almonds or hazelnuts
5 large eggs, separated.
Heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4, and grease and line the base of a 20cm cake tin. Melt the chocolate (I did so in the microwave in short bursts) then whisk in the oil in a steady stream, followed by two-thirds of the sugar. Whisk to help the sugar dissolve in the heat of the chocolate. Remove from the heat then stir in the ground nuts, a pinch of flaked sea salt and the egg yolks.
Put the egg whites into a scrupulously clean bowl with about one third of the remaining sugar. Beat with an electric whisk until the whites are no longer clear, then add another third of the sugar. Continue beating until the whites have really increased in volume, then add the rest of the sugar and beat until you have medium peaks (firm with tips that droop slightly).
Using a large metal spoon, loosen the chocolate mixture by folding in a tablespoon of the egg whites, then fold in the rest carefully so that you don’t lose air. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin – it will deflate and crack a lot, but that’s part of this cake’s charm. Carefully turn it out and remove the paper.
Dust with icing sugar before serving. I topped mine with edible flowers too! Serve with a scoop of cream or yoghurt and a pot of coffee to wash it down.
What are you baking this weekend? Do you have any flourless recipe tips?