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Flourless chocolate, olive oil & almond cake

Flourless chocolate, olive oil & almond cake

Flourless chocolate cakes can often lean into a deeply fudgy, almost sticky texture, but this version still retains a bit of a cakey crumb that stays eternally moist thanks to all the ground almonds. It makes for a good celebration cake or something to serve after a cosy dinner party when only chocolate on chocolate on chocolate will do. Serve with a good splash of cold cream.

Serves: 12-16

WHAT YOU NEED

For the cake

75g (2½oz) dark chocolate
250g (9oz/1¼ cups) caster (granulated) sugar
150ml (5fl oz/scant ⅔ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
3 eggs
175g (6oz/1¾ cups) ground almonds
90g (3¼oz/scant 1 cup) cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
½ tsp salt
150ml (5fl oz/scant ⅔ cup) hot water

For the ganache

175g (6oz) dark chocolate, plus extra chocolate shavings to decorate
220ml (7½fl oz/scant 1 cup) double (heavy) cream

WHAT TO DO

Start with the cake. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4). Grease and line a 20-cm (8-in) cake pan.

Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil. Add the eggs and beat until smooth, then mix in the melted chocolate.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ground almonds, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Stir this mixture into the wet ingredients until fully combined. Pour in the hot water and give it a good stir before pouring the batter into the cake pan.

Bake for 40–50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely in the pan and in the meantime make the ganache.

Finely chop the chocolate and place it in a bowl.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until steaming, just before it comes to the boil. Pour the cream onto the chocolate and let it sit undisturbed for 30 seconds. Start stirring slowly from the middle, working your way outwards until you have a smooth ganache. If there are still a few unmelted lumps, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until everything is melted.

Place the cooled cake on a wire rack and set the rack over a baking sheet or a sheet of baking paper to catch the chocolate. Pour the ganache over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Use a palette knife to help the ganache drip to any uncovered areas.

Leave the cake to set for 30 minutes before covering in some chocolate shavings.


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