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Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Adapted from Nigella Lawson & William Curley
Nigella's classic chocolate olive oil cake has been given a bit of decoration with an orange creme au beurre and a chocolate cremeux from William Curley's book Patisserie. This is all very simple to make and it's all gluten free.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Cake
Servings 10


  • ***Chocolate Olive Oil Cake***
  • 150 ml Olive Oil plus more for greasing
  • 50 g Cocoa Powder sifted
  • 125 ml Boiling Water
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 150 g Ground Almonds
  • ½ Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200 g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • ***Dark Chocolate Cremeux***
  • 125 g Dark Chocolate 66% cocoa chopped
  • 55 ml Milk
  • 125 ml Whipping Cream
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 45 g Egg Yolks
  • 12 g Unsalted Butter cubed
  • ***Orange Creme au Beurre***
  • 50 g Caster Sugar
  • 15 ml Water
  • 30 g Egg Yolks
  • 110 g Unsalted Butter softened and cubed
  • Juice of 1 orange


  • Preheat your oven to 170°C/150C Fan/gas mark 3/325ºF. Grease a 22 or 23 cm/ 9inch loose bottom tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.
  • Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.
  • In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds with the bicarbonate of 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-primrose, 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.
  • Next make the dark chocolate cremeux put the chocolate in a bowl, mix the milk, cream and vanilla extract in a saucepan and bring it to the boil.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until light in colour.
  • Add half the boiling liquid to the egg mixture, whisk until smooth and then add the egg mixture to the pan. Over a low heat stir the mixture until it reaches 84C and coats the back of a spoon.
  • Take the pan off the heat and strain through a fine sieve into the bowl of chocolate. Mix until smooth and then gradually add the butter until melted and smooth. Leave to semi-set for at least 30 mins at room temperature.
  • Next make the creme au beurre, put the caster sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil and heat to 121C.
  • Put the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk, slowly pour the hot syrup into the eggs and whisk until it is thick and cool.
  • Gradually add the softened butter while still whisking, When all of the butter has been added, add the orange juice and beat until light and fluffy.
  • When the chocolate olive oil cake has cooled, put the creme au beurre in a piping bag with a french tip fitted, place the chocolate cremeux in a piping bag with a straight nozzle fitted. Decorate the top of the cake with any pattern of your choice. I also added some candied peel to decorate the outer edges of the cake.