This Chocolate Rapeseed Oil Cake recipe was the result of a Clandestine Cake Club challenge. The theme was Blind Date. You had to bake a cake you had never baked or tasted before. Now, this was a challenge in a lot of ways. First, if I haven’t tasted a cake before it’s because I don’t think I’m going to like it. Why would I bake something I won’t like? Second, I like to have something reliable when baking for others. I want to know how the recipe is going to work and what tweaks I might need to make to have something I’ll be proud of. With this challenge I really was flying blind!
I hit upon Nigella’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake because she happend to have tweeted about it around that time. I like chocolate but I had never tasted an olive oil based cake before. However, there was the small issue that I don’t like olives. I use olive oil all the time in cooking where I’ll never taste the oliveyness but I felt that this was one of those times where it would make a difference. I happened to have a bottle of Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil just begging to be used. I love the nutty flavour of rapeseed oil, it’s just gorgeous, and I thought this would compliment the almonds nicely. I was right, it gives a gorgeous nutty flavour and really gives another dimension to the cake. I’m really keen on trying to use this oil in more cooking in the future. I think it has a lot of potential!
The end result is a gorgeous nutty, moist, brownie like cake which would be a perfect dinner party dessert cake. (Imagine it piled up with raspberries or other summer fruits and served with lashings of whipped cream if you will!) However, it also held its own as a simple cake without any adornment. The rich chocolateyness of the cake means it really doesn’t need any help to be delicious and the decadent squidgy texture will certainly have you coming back for more!
50g cocoa powder
125ml boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g ground almonds
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
150ml rapeseed oil (Yorkshire if you please!)
200g golden caster sugar
– Heat the oven to gas mark 5/190C and grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin.
– Put the cocoa powder in a mug then pour over the boiling water and the vanilla. Mix together until you get a delicious looking chocolaty paste (don’t taste it, it’ll be gross!) Leave to cool while you do the rest.
– Mix the almonds, salt and bicarb together in a small bowl.
– In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, sugar and rapeseed oil.
– Use a handheld electric whisk to beat the sugar, eggs and oil until plae and thick.
– Add the cocoa paste to this mixture and beat in.
– Add the almond mixture and gently fold in until everything is totally combined.
– Pour the mixture intot he prepared tin and bake int he centre of the oven for 45-50 minutes. It should look just set int he middle and a skewer will come out clean when it is cooked.
– Allow it to cook for 10 minutes in the tin then run a sharp knife (I actually always use a thin bone handled knife for this) round the edge fo the cake to loosen it. Then unspring your tin and either leave to cool completely or serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
I’ve been working my way through Nigellissima, Nigella Lawson’s latest offering. One of the recipes people kept mentioning was the Italian Banana Bread so I thought I’d give it a go. Now, first off, the ‘Italian’ aspect is that there’s espresso in there. I have to admit I didn’t think that the espresso necessarily added that much to it. However, it is a gorgeous banana bread! Moist, springy and flavoursome.
The notes said that it would make 12 muffins, which it did, just. I wanted these for breakfasts and for me breakfast means portable. I also decided that, true to form, banana bread on its own was delicious but I always want some chocolate in there. My favourite trick with muffins is to add a teaspoon of Nutella to the middle for a gorgeous gooey chocolaty centre so that’s exactly what I did!
150ml rapeseed oil
3 very ripe medium bananas (I mean BLACK!)
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
150g golden caster sugar
175g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 jar Nutella
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200C.
– Put 12 paper cases in a 12 hole muffin tin.
– Take a large Pyrex jug or bowl and mash up the bananas with a fork along with the vanilla extract and salt.
– Beat in the oil. Keep mixing, it’ll happen!
– Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly between additions.
– In a small bowl mix the flour, bicarb and espresso powder together until they’re even combined.
– Mix the flour mixture into the banana mixture until all the floury bits disappear. There will still be banana chunks in there so you’re not aiming for totally smooth.
– Divide the batter evenly between the paper cases.
– Dollop a teaspoon of Nutella in the centre of each muffin.
– Bake for 20-25 minutes until the muffins are set and a beautiful deep golden brown.
– Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
My neighbour first introduced me to this lush, rich, deliciously moreish cake last year. I’m very glad that she did because I probably would never have baked it myself if I hadn’t found out how delicious it was. I’d have seen “Guinness” and thought “Bleurgh!”. It pays to be reminded that first impressions aren’t always accurate. Don’t judge a recipe by its title etc. I will say again, This cake is DELICIOUS!
Visually I find it very pleasing with the overall Guinness look with that cream cheese frosting “head” on it. The tanginess of the cream cheese frosting is not to be missed out on (although, if you absolutley must do without it it’s still damned good cake!). Overall another corking recipe from Nigella, but what else do we expect?
Serves 12 min.
75g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
142ml creme fraiche (Nigella says Sour Cream… I never buy Sour Cream yet always have Creme Fraiche)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
275g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
125ml double cream
– Heat the oven to Gas 4/180C and prepare a 23cm springform cake tin.
– Take your largest saucepan and pour in the Guinness. Cut the butter up and add that too.
– Heat until the butter’s melted then whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar.
– In a separate jug mix the creme fraiche, eggs and vanilla together.
– Pour into the pan.
– Whisk in the flour and bicarb.
– Pour the mixture into your greased and lined cake tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check that the middle is totally cooked by using a skewer to test and that it is springy when touched or it will sink in the middle.
– Leave to cool in the tin.
– To make the frosting beat the cream cheese until smooth then sift over the icing sugar.
– Beat together then add the cream and beat til smooth.
– Spread over the top of the cake.