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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Parties, pancakes and chocolate cake...

Yesterday we celebrated Henry's 5th birthday and although we went to a well known pancake house out for his party we stuck with tradition and made our own cake. It's taken a few years for the lesson to sink in but I know realise that for most kids cake is simply a vehicle for icing and candles. With that in mind I trawled through my recipe folder for a suitably simple recipe. My standby is usually a Chocolate Fudge Cake made with no diary or eggs to cater for any children with allergies but as that wasn't a problem this year I decided to make a variation on Stefano de Pieri's Chocolate and Olive Cake. It's a lovely close-textured, moist cake but nowhere as rich as a chocolate mud or flourless chocolate cake which I think is sometimes a bit much for little ones. Stefano uses drinking chocolate in his recipe which gives the cake a lightness of flavour but as I like a bit more of a chocolate hit I've opted for cocoa.

Here's my version...
EDIT:: I've added metric and imperial measurements for those who prefer them

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake


6 eggs, separated

1 cup (200g/ 7oz) caster sugar

1/2 cup (110ml/ 4 fl oz) olive oil

1 cup (140g/ 5oz) self-raising flour

1/2 cup (50g/ 2 oz) cocoa

50ml (2 fl oz)warm water


1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius and grease and line a 24cm springform pan.

2. In an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 3/4 cup caster sugar on a high speed until light and fluffy.

3. Turn the beater down to medium and add olive oil in a steady stream. Add sifted flour and cocoa and water and beat on a low speed until combined.

4. Wash and dry the beaters thoroughly and in a separate bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup of caster sugar and beat to combine.

5. Using a metal spoon, gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture then pour into prepared pan.

6. Bake for 45-60 mins depending on your oven (check at 40 minutes by inserting a skewer into cake - skewer will come out clean when cake is done).

As you can see I iced my cake and decorated it with white, milk and dark chocolate discs but it is equally good dusted with a mixture of icing sugar and cocoa or crowned with chocolate ganache if you like your cakes a bit more grown up...


  1. Chocoalte and olive oil, now that is a combination I have never heard of, let alone tried. I am intrigued and may give it a go one day inthe future. Loving the photograph too.

  2. Oh I've got another birthday cake to bake next weekend and a chocolate one has been requested I'll probably have a go at this. It sounds quite healthy with olive oil and I could make the Brooklyn Blackout cake chocolate custard/ganache to ice it with.

    I've just been Googling Dutch cocoa and may have to use ordinary cocoa powder...hopefully that will work just as well...I'll let you know how I get on.

    Love the Groucho Marx glasses and moustache...looks like you all had great fun... Happy birthday Henry...5 is a perfect age...

  3. Shaheen

    I know it sounds like a weird combination but you don't taste the oil, it's just there to replace butter and keep the cake moist. I've used Australian cup measurements in the recipe so you might like to check here if you think you'd like to make it.

  4. Hi Deb

    As I said above you might need to double check the measurements if you want to make this cake (sometimes I forget people in other countries read this thing!). Next time I'll make sure I put down more global measurements. As for the Dutch cocoa that's just what I had in the cupboard but I've used ordinary cocoa and it has been just as good. This recipe writing is a tricking thing isn't it?

  5. We have a birthday coming up this weekend too and I was going to do a coconut and strawberry cake. First time I've made the recipe, so we'll see.

    Ta for the comment on my blog. Many happy hours indeed. I don't quite know where to start.

  6. Don't worry Caz I'm used to cup measurements...I'm a big fan of the Barefoot Contessa and Nigella often uses them too. Actually that's one of the things that attracts me to this recipe it looks nice and simple and quick and I'm a big fan of olive oil in cakes.

    I know what you mean... takes ages to write up recipes..thanks again for this...

  7. "I now realise that for most kids cake is simply a vehicle for icing and candles."
    I'll have to remember that for when I have kids!

    I just made a cake last night, a banana gingerbread, it also used olive oil in stead of butter. Makes for great moist cakes! :-)

  8. The cake looks great...happy birthday's interesting how your family influences brother is allergic to eggs so mum cooked with as few as possible so when I see a recipe with a large amount of them used, I feel abit overwhelmed by the idea, despite probably eating many cafe cakes where plenty have been used.

  9. Deb

    I've edited the recipe to include metric and imperial measurements if you want to use them.

    Banana Gingerbread Cake sounds amazing. I'd love the recipe if you care to share! Sorry to hear about your piggies:(

    There are a lot of eggs in this one aren't there? I do understand what you mean about family influence. I remember when Mum went on a really strict exclusion diet and made us all give up sugar, salt and white flour. Ever since then I've never really added sugar or salt to my food (except in baking of course!).