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...