olive oil, rosemary, chocolate cake, vegan

couldnae think of a snappier name

This cake was one of those glorious moments when experimenting paid off. After eating a delicious cake with these flavours in a café in St Andrews (affectionately nicknamed San Andreas in my insta story haha), I knew I wanted to replicate that rich olive oil flavour at home.

I really wasn’t sure how to come up with a recipe, I don’t really understand baking well enough in that respect. And my first time making it was for a festive dinner party with some school friends, so trial and error wasn’t really an option.

However I stumbled upon this beautifully simple vegan chocolate cake by the truly divine Nigella (there can be only one). The video showed what appeared to be a satisfyingly simple cake, with a beautiful rich texture created by the oil. It was surely the perfect base for my recipe, although it would obviously be stunning in its own right – everything she touches ultimately is.

So why should you make my little remixed version? The extra virgin olive oil flavour isn’t perhaps what you’d expect: it’s not savoury, it’s not overbearing, but it is different. The rosemary is herbal, but not medicinal, and it really lifts everything. And with these incredible flavours comes the need to switch the cocoa powder for real chocolate, in order to provide the sweetness and richness. It’s really very special.

You might notice what a small amount of batter this makes, and if you feel like doubling the recipe then absolutely go for it. But I kinda like the short wee slices this gives. It’s very eh… genug haha.

ingredients

100g plain flour

150g light brown sugar

100g dark chocolate

185ml boiling water

45ml extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp white wine vinegar

3/4 tsp bicarb

1/4 tsp salt

2 sprigs rosemary (plus extra for garnish)

100g icing sugar

method

  1. preheat the oven to 180C. line and grease a loaf tin with olive oil.
  2. melt the chocolate over a bain marie or in wee bursts in the microwave.
  3. grind the rosemary in a coffee/spice grinder or food processor.
  4. add the flour, boiling water from a kettle, olive oil, bicarb, vinegar, salt, sugar, melted chocolate and ground rosemary to a bowl and stir to combine.
  5. pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. then allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin.
  6. mix the icing sugar with 1 tbsp water. Then keep adding very small amounts of water until you have a thick, opaque icing that will run but still hold its shape.
  7. once the cake is cooled, pour icing onto the top and tease some parts of it down the sides. be as liberal with the icing as you desire. while wet, add some decorate sprigs of rosemary and place in the fridge to set. then get that fire on, break out the candles and get all hygge-ed up for the winter!

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