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Olive Oil Chocolate Cake

This decadent chocolate cake is an ideal choice for those who cannot tolerate either gluten or dairy. For those of us who are in this group but still occasionally seek out a little bite of something sweet, this is a perfect choice. And the good news is that those who do not have these dietary restrictions can enjoy this dessert too!

This recipe makes a cake for six to eight people to share.


  • ⅔ cup regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)

  • 6 tablespoons good-quality unsweetened cocoa (sifted)

  • ½ cup boiling water

  • 2 teaspoons best quality vanilla extract

  • 1 ½ cups almond meal

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 cup superfine sugar

  • 3 large eggs


Preheat your oven to 325ºF. Grease a 9-inch springform tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.

Measure and sift the unsweetened cocoa into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.

In another smallish bowl, combine the almond meal with the baking soda and pinch of salt.

Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale yellow, aerated and thickened cream.

Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground almond mixture.

Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.

Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin. Leave to cool completely or eat while still warm with some ice cream, as a pudding.

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