Olive Oil and Chocolate? Oh, Yes.
I have a particular fondness for simple single layer cakes. For these types of cakes to be memorable, the cake itself must be good enough to eat all on its own. Any glaze or topping is literally icing on the cake. While I have several recipes I make often, I’ve never hit on a chocolate version that I really love. So, this got me to thinking about one of my favorites, an olive oil cake, and I decided to try my hand at coming up with a chocolate version.
First and foremost, I think if you’re going to use olive oil in a cake, then there should be plenty of it. Otherwise, what’s the point, right? This cake contains 1 1/3 cups of medium flavored olive oil. You don’t want a strongly flavored oil because it can be sharply flavored and would conflict with the chocolate flavor. But you do want one that has enough flavor to contribute to the overall flavor profile. I used the Kirkland organic extra virgin olive oil from Costco. California Ranch extra virgin olive oil would also be a good choice here.
The cocoa I used came from King Arthur. It’s called Bensdorp Cocoa and is a Dutch processed cocoa powder with a deep mahogany color. As for other additions, I added a little strong coffee and some Amaretto. These served to round out and enrich the overall flavor.
The texture is not light and fluffy. That’s not what I was going for with this cake. It is dense and moist. The large amount of olive oil gives it a mouth feel which is almost fudge like in the center, while being more cake like near the edges. I thought the deep chocolate flavor would be well served with some tangy lightly sweetened whipped cream and chose to add buttermilk to the heavy cream in order to achieve that flavor.
As to the level of difficulty? Two bowls, a whisk, measuring cups and spoons, and a cake pan are all you need to get this in the oven. But I do recommend a hand beater for whipping the cream. I don’t know about you, but it’s never made sense to me why you’d want to whisk cream by hand when a beater gets the job done so quickly and easily.
I’ve finally found a chocolate single layer cake I truly love. As my son said, “Well, you know I’m not a particular fan of chocolate cake, but this is one I can fully support.”