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)
- 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
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 www.edelishop.co.uk and use the code meemalee10