In case you can’t tell, I like baking with olive oil A LOT. This chocolate olive oil cake is my second olive oil cake recipe this year. I posted this lemon olive oil cake in January, when I was trying to lighten things up after holiday bingeing. And well, I am back at it with a rich and chocolatey AF olive oil cake this time. It isn’t necessarily as ‘light’ as the lemon, but it is still made with olive oil so ‘light’ on the bad fats, and dare I say, a lil healthy(ish).
Olive oil in cakes is the way to go.
Olive oil is where it is at for baking. I am sure you don’t need me to tell you, but extra virgin olive oil is full of vitamins and healthy fats, and is def considered a healthy fat choice, especially over butter. It is a great fat substitute for butter and other cooking oils when baking because of all of these nutritional benefits. Read more here if you don’t believe me 🙂
As an already oil-in-my-cakes baker, pretty much always, I can tell you that oil-based cakes have a much better texture and crumb. And they definitely do not dry out as fast as butter cakes. And while baking with oils like canola, vegetable or even avocado oil are great for texture and crumb, olive oil, like butter, adds flavor that you just don’t get from any other oil.
This cake is special, and I will tell you why…
A couple reasons:
- It is not too sweet. I am a grown up and as a grown up, not everything needs to be stupid sweet.
- This chocolate olive oil cake is intensely chocolatey. Think flourless chocolate cake intensity. I am guessing because it is not too sweet. But I also thinks it has something to do with the olive oil bringing out the extra flavor of the chocolate.
- I tested this recipe like a million times to get it right. I think that might be the most important part. This chocolate olive oil cake recipe is a labor of love. My first ever attempt at it was the Nigella Lawson chocolate olive oil cake (recipe here) that seems so popular (it was choice no.1 when I googled). Unfortunately this recipe did not work for me at all and I cannot, for the life of me understand why. I have had huge success with all my other Nigella recipe attempts, but this one was a hot mess for me. Well this turned my OCD into overdrive and I set out to create one that worked. And while maybe not a million attempts, a lot of f’ing recipe testing went down to get this exactly where I want it. Kind of like flourless chocolate cake, kind of like brownie, kind of like regular chocolate cake with olive oil. All put together to make awesomeness.
A couple last tips.
I have just a few things left to say about this chocolate olive oil cake recipe.
- Use a decent extra virgin olive oil. You want to taste the olive oil in this cake, it is part of the flavor profile. Don’t use crap and don’t use something week (EVOO is perfectly strong and balanced).
- This cake is best served at room temperature, in my opinion. Furthermore, it will keep nicely covered at room temp for a few days.
- I prefer to eat this cake as-is, on its own, with maybe just a dusting of powdered sugar. Though, I serve this at parties with crème fraiche or unsweetened whipped cream. It cuts the richness a tiny bit and people seem to really enjoy it.
Chocolate olive oil cake
- 5 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 eggs at room temperature, separated
Heat the oven to 350.
Grease an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a parchment round. Put the chopped chocolate into a bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water to melt the chocolate (this will prevent burning the chocolate). Stir a couple of times. Once the chocolate is melted, whisk in the oil slowly and in a stream. Add 2/3 of the cup of sugar and whisk until fully combined.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt, vanilla, almond flour and egg yolks. Whisk this thoroughly to fully combine.
Beat the egg whites in a clean metal bowl with the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Take a spoonful or so of the chocolate mixture and fold into the egg whites GENTLY - you do not want to deflate the egg whites. Then add the rest of the chocolate mixture and continue folding gently to combine. You will not fully incorporate the two and that is ok. You want white streaks in there. Just don't overfold it or you'll have a flat cake.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes on the middle rack in the oven. When it is finished baking, turn off the oven and crack the oven door, about 1/2 way open. Leave the cake to come down in temperature in the cracked oven for minimum 30 minutes but up to an hour. This is my biggest tip - bringing the temperature down slowly helps to firm up the cake and also minimize cracking and sinking in a cake like this with no flour. Cool completely then on a rack before removing the sides.
Dust with powdered sugar when completely cooled. And serve with crème fraiche or unsweetened whipped cream on the side.