Rich, moist, and with a dark bitter edge, this is a chocolate cake that feels decadent while also being a solid candidate for morning tea on an average work day. And if you avoid dairy, grain, or refined-sugar free for dietary reasons, or simply want to have your cake and eat it too, without the sugar crash, then this is the cake for you. There's no reason not to make it, really.
225 g whole almond meal (I make my own from unblanched almonds, substitute store bought)
50 g / 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa, sifted
4 eggs, separated
150 ml / 2/3 cup light olive oil
200 ml / 3/4 cup raw unfiltered honey
pinch sea salt
vanilla extract to taste
Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F). Line a 20 cm cake tin with baking paper.
In a clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks. Set aside.
In another large bowl, beat egg yolks, olive oil, honey, and vanilla until well combined.
Combine almond meal, cocoa powder and salt. Add to the egg and oil mixture in three batches, beating after each addition to incorporate.
Take a third of the egg whites and fold quickly into the batter with a metal spoon to lighten the mixture. Gently fold in the remainder until there are no streaks of egg white left.
Pour the batter gently into the prepared tin, tap it gently on the bench to settle any large air bubbles, and bake for 35-40 min or until a skewer comes out just damp.
Serve warm or at room temperature plain, with cream, and/or some fresh berries.
I've long wanted to develop a chocolate olive oil cake recipe. It just sounded so…right somehow. I wanted this cake to be super fudgey, very chocolatey and, if possible, a little lower on the glycemic index scale than your average chocolate cake, and so I started thinking about substituting the typically high-glycemic index ingredients - white flour and refined cane sugar - with alternatives (stay with me here). And here it is, a rich chocolate cake suitable for those who avoid dairy, grains or refined sugar for whatever reason, but also for those, like me, who just like to mix things up, and occasionally feel like having a cake that ticks ALL the boxes, from those chocolate cravings to your body's fuel needs. I'm not saying this is the healthiest snack you could have, but it's certainly not the worst! And that's where the whole almond meal and raw honey come in. By all means use a store-bought almond meal, but by making it yourself (you only need a small blender/mixer for this), you can use the whole almond, skin and all, and leave the texture a bit more nubbly than you would find in a packet, thus making the final product higher in fibre (and with a pleasing nutty texture). Make sure you blend just until you have a mealy texture. Go too far and you'll have almond butter. Good, but not useful here. And I do think its important to use raw honey where possible. Yes, honey is another form of sugar (all carbohydrates are), but by using a raw and unfiltered honey you get all the health benefits of the antioxidants and nutrients that would be lost in the heat-treating process.
Anyway, enough earbashing! Apart from everything else, this cake is delicious. I do like my chocolate with a bitter edge, so just be warned this is not for diehard sweet-tooths. The almonds and oil obviously provide a lot of richness and moisture, while the honey adds a more complex sweetness than sugar would. It's pretty hard to stuff up too, as the amount of almond meal makes the mixture quite stable. It rises and then falls a little as it cools, leaving the top fairly flat, making it also a good candidate for layering and smothering with icing should the occasion call for it. I think this would make a great birthday cake, and one that (hopefully) everyone can eat! So it's a win all round really. I hope you enjoy it!