Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
This beautiful and simple chocolate cake embodies a balance of sweet and savoury. We love using a rich extra-virgin olive oil and a great quality chocolate for the utmost flavour. Top this cake with any wild or seasonal fruit, petals, and crème of your choice to make it perfect for a party or festive celebration.
180ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
70g good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
120ml boiling water
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
165g plain flour
½ tsp bread soda
1 tsp sea salt
195g caster sugar
3 large eggs
Cyprus flake salt
For the cardamom cream
120ml heavy cream
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp dried rose petals
65g chopped unsalted pistachios
Cyprus flake salt
Preheat the oven to 165ºC. Grease a 23cm springform baking pan with a little olive oil and line the base with parchment paper cut to fit.
Sift the cocoa into a medium bowl and whisk in the boiling water until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla, then set aside to cool slightly. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, bread soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar, olive oil, and eggs until you have a light, fluffy cream, about 3 minutes.
Turn the speed on the mixer down and pour in the cocoa and vanilla mixture. Slowly add the flour mixture until it is evenly incorporated, stopping the mixer and scraping down the bowl as necessary.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sides are set and the top of the cake still looks slightly moist. A cake tester inserted into the centre should come out clean or with just a few crumbs on it. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
While the cake is baking, in a chilled metal or glass bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add the cardamom and beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Run a knife around the edge of the cake and release the sides of the pan. Transfer the cake to a serving plate or cake stand. Sprinkle with more flaky salt. Serve each slice with a dollop of the cardamom cream and a sprinkling of rose petals, pistachios, and flaky salt.
Extracted from Simple Fare: Spring/Summer by Karen Mordechai (Abrams, approx €25.50), http://abramsandchronicle.co.uk/books/food-and-drink/9781419724145-simple-fare-spring-and-summer
Photograph © 2017 Karen Mordechai