Chocolate & Hazelnut Olive Oil Cake
This dense chocolate cake is rich with a moist centre and has the added health benefits of olive oil included. But don’t worry the olive oil is only just detectable and adds a silky smooth texture. As we all know olive oil is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet — an essential nutritional mainstay for the world’s longest-living cultures. Italian beauty and sex symbol Sophia Loren was stunningly beautiful in her 1960s heyday, and still is now. Her secret? Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Sophia’s Mediterranean diet ensured that she was able to include olive oil in her diet every day, while routinely rubbing a small amount into her skin, which kept her complexion glossy and moisturized. She even added a few capfuls into a hot bath for a nourishing skin soak 😉
Makes: 8-12 slices
- 150ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 50g Good-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
- 125ml Hot water
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 150g Ground hazelnuts
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 200g Caster sugar
- 3 Large eggs
- Vanilla Gelato/Mascarpone
- Amaretti biscuits
Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF. Grease a 22 or 23 cm/ 9inch 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 hot water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny only just paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.
In another small bowl, combine the ground hazelnuts with the baking powder.
Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into a large bowl and whisk together until you have a pale thickened cream or use a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale, thickened cream.
Add the cocoa mixture and whisk until well combined then add the ground hazelnut mixture and combine or if using a mixer, turn the speed down a little on the mixer and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground hazelnut mixture.
Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour the dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes 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. Serve with a scoop of vanilla gelato or mascarpone on the side with crumbled Amaretti biscuits on top. Buon Appetito…