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Olive Oil Chocolate Cake


Regular readers may be aware that I'm not a fan of baking, partly because I haven't got a particularly sweet tooth, and partly because I cannot be faffed with the precision of weighing everything out. But occasionally I'll see a picture or read a recipe that makes me go "Ooooooh" and consider whipping out my kitchen scales.

Like this recipe which I came across in the Green & Black's Ultimate Chocolate Cookbook that I won in the Taste Test part of their 15:15 Challenge last year.

A recipe for Olive Oil Chocolate Torte by Jose Pizarro, former chef partner at Brindisa and now chef owner of the new and wonderful eponymous Jose Tapas and Sherry Bar in Bermondsey.


It sounds like it shouldn't work to be honest - curiosity was mainly why I wanted to try it. It contains no flour (yes, it's gluten-free), and no almonds either - in fact, the ingredients seem more suited to a tortilla.

What really spurred me to make it, however, was when Rachel McCormack from Catalan Cooking kindly gave me a bottle of tangerine olive oil - one of a range of artisan oils made by Spanish family-run mill Mallafre where the natural flavourings are actually pressed with the olives, rather than simply infused in the oil afterwards.

If there was one thing that could make this olive oil cake even more exciting, it was adding a note of tangy citrus.

So with a few small adaptations, I made Tangerine Olive Oil Cake for a dinner with friends, and it was beautiful.

Rich, zesty, fragrant, gooey inside, crusty outside, with just the right depth of sweetness, the cake was a total knock-out - everyone had seconds (my husband said it was like a pimped-out brownie).


Tangerine Olive Oil Chocolate Cake Recipe

(adapted from Jose Pizarro's recipe for Olive Oil Chocolate Torte in the Green and Black's Ultimate Cookbook edited by Micah Carr-Hill)

Serves 4-6
  • 125g dark (70% cocoa solids) chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 125g tangerine olive oil (or any good quality olive oil, but not EVOO)
  • 4 large free range eggs, separated
  • 50g sugar
  • Zest of an orange
Oil the base and sides of a 28cm Springform tin and line with baking parchment.

Melt the chocolate with the olive oil in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water, then set aside to cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar till the mixture is light, fluffy and pale in colour. Stir in the cooled chocolate and the orange zest.

Using an electric hand-whisk or stand mixer, in a clean bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the chocolate mixture to make your cake mix.

Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool in the tin before demoulding. The cake will deflate as it cools as it has no flour.

Serve with cream and fresh fruit - I served the cake with cherries.

Bought the Carol Jacobs PO bird creamer in Oliver Bonas - awesome, huh? No, it's not like a bird vomiting.

Catalan Cooking has kindly arranged a 10% discount on Mallafre's whole range of gourmet oils, including extra virgin olive, flavoured and organic nut, for readers of Meemalee's Kitchen (I'm earning nothing out of this).

Just go to and use the code meemalee10

mallafre tangerine olive oil


Kavey said…
I want a bird creamer.
And also a slice of the cake.
I'm destined to be disappointed on both fronts, I fear.
*wails* But I don't have a 28in springform tin! *wails some more*

Cheers for the recipe, MiMi - looks and sounds all kinds of awesome.

BTW, the word verification that's come up is 'Eatmedan'. Oooer.
meemalee said…
@Kavey - The cake is DEAD easy to make - do it do it do it. And the creamer is dead easy to find - BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT.

@aforkfulofspaghetti - Not surprised, 28 inches would be humungous :P

It is awesome - Jose Pizarro rocks.

"Eatmedan" - erm, I can only apologise ...
Chloe said…
Looks amazing!

Was going to try something like this with the blood orange olive oil I have. Certainly will do now, thanks!
PDH said…
I want the bird vomit creamer! This cake sounds amazing as well.
Charlene said…
Looks delicious!
meemalee said…
@Chloe - Ooh, definitely try making the cake with blood orange olive oil!

@Pavel - Ixnay on the omitvay.

@Charlene - Thank you!
Suz said…
You have so many cool things in your kitchen. Everyone should have a bird creamer.

Gorgeous cake! I'm liking the sound of the tangerine oil tweak, and I do love that G&B book - thanks again for that. :)
Bristol Bites said…
Oh that looks lovely! Sending this link to a friend of mine who can't eat gluten/dairy but misses his desserts...thank you! :)
meemalee said…
@Suzler - Yay, glad you liked! It's a good thing I had two copies :P

(I buy too much kitchen magic)

@Bristol Bites - Thank you - I hope he likes it! My boss is a coeliac so I have an idea of how frustrating it must be.
Miss Whiplash said…
STOP showing me kitchen kitsch!
Am having to sit on hands to prevent myself from buying bird...
And it's already too late for discounted olive oil :-(
I'm very easily led...
Gail said…
Gimme cake. Gimme birdy fingy. Love that fact that this is gluten free too :-)
Flaf said…
Ooh NOW you tell me. I was on the hunt for a dairy free pudding for a bbq for my family with cholestrol issues. This would have been awesome. I ended up doing the Canteen beetroot chocolate cake and chucked in some dried cherries & fresh raspberries. THIS is going on my list next.
meemalee said…
@Miss Whiplash - Yay, you bought some oil! Which one which one? :)

@Gail - Demanding wee thing, aren't you? x
Unknown said…
want. bird creamer. now.
Gorgeousness incarnate. Love making cakes with oil but it's a rare cake than can handle the olive - this looks like that cake!
tori said…
You had me at pimped out brownie. Am on the look out already for inclusions for next year's ridiculous black forest extravaganza for the spouse's birthday cake. This is getting bookmarked. In a big way.
Niamh said…
OH! I love love love olive oil cake. Must try this one, never made a chocolate one before. The oils sound terrific too.
meemalee said…
@Cupcake Kelly - Heh, you should follow @Pinch of Salt's Friday finds :)

@tori - "Ridiculous black forest extravaganza " - nice!

@Niamh - Ooh, what's plain olive oil cake like?