It is no secret how much olive oil is loved in our house - we even travelled to Greece and Italy a few years ago and timed the trip with the new oil harvest (you can read more about that trip here). That love of olive oil extends to this chocolate fudge cake recipe, where I have used it in place of butter. The robust flavour of the olive oil enhances the bitter, chocolatey flavour that comes from Dutch-process cocoa.
Olive oil is a great baking alternative for those who can’t eat (or prefer not to eat) butter — in this cake I have used Greek extra-virgin olive oil, it has a robust, slightly peppery flavour and it really matches well with the bitterness of the dark cocoa. The quality of the olive oil is the key to this recipe, as the flavour of the oil really does subtly permeate the cake.
While the olive oil impacts on the flavour of the cake, it also has a big impact on the texture. Using oil instead of butter in the cake creates a very moist cake, with a fine crumb, which compares with the short and crumbly texture that comes with a butter-based cake. The other thing I also love about this cake is just how easy it is to make - there is no laborious creaming of butter and sugar etc.
I like to served this chocolate cake in little squares, for an indulgent afternoon treat - along with a Greek coffee or for a more special occasion, it goes perfectly with an affogato - spiked with a touch of calvados or Grand Marnier.
Chocolate olive oil fudge cake (κέικ σοκολάτας ελαιόλαδο)
3/4 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa (Dutch-process) powder
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sheep or goat's yoghurt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
dark cocoa powder for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 160C.
2. Sift flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Add sugar. Mix.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, yoghurt, vanilla extract and oil until the mixture is smooth.
4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and beat until smooth for about a minute.
5. Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper. Pour cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes, or until just firm.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely in the tin. Dust with extra cocoa powder before serving.