I have made this cake at least half a dozen times and each time it has left all of us craving for more…all thanks to Nigella for her fabulous recipe. This undeniably is a red-carpet cake. With its deep black colour and velvetty texture, it almost melts in your mouth. Its my all-time companion – for celebrations, tea-time or mainly as a stress-buster. And its incredibly easy to make.
- 150ml regular olive oil, plus extra for greasing (I have also tried with virgin olive oil and its equally delicious)
- 50g – cocoa powder, sifted
- 125ml – boiling water (adding a little coffee to it enhances the flavour)
- 2 tsp – vanilla extract
- 150g ground almonds or 125g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of salt
- 200g caster sugar (I always replace 50 gms of it with brown sugar)
- 3 free-range eggs
- 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 boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.
- In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.
- Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl. With an electric beater, beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.
- Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture and continue beating. When all is scraped in, you can slowly add the ground almond (or flour) mixture.
- Stir the mixture a bit with a spatula to bring it all together, but don’t over beat it. Then pour this 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.
P.S.: This cake can also be devoured warm with some ice cream, as a pudding.
Get baking ! 🙂