Though there are many amazing ways to use olive oil in baking, both savory and sweet, I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to use California Olive Ranch’s Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil in my recipe this holiday season. Since Arbosana is a Spanish variety, what better match than chocolate, whose history runs deep with the Spaniards and cayenne which seems to provide just the right amount of subtle, flavorful heat to many latin (as well as French and Creole) based dishes and always pairs well with the dark mistress.
Xocolātl (Chocolate) Almond Olive Oil Cake
- 6 ounces premium Bittersweet (72% or higher) Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Powder
- 1 Vanilla Bean Pod, scraped (or 1tsp pure vanilla extract)
- ¼ tsp Cream of Tartar
- ¼ cup California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Arbosana Olive Oil
- ¾ cup Sugar (divided into ½ and ¼ cup measurements)
- 4 Eggs, separated
- ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
In a double boiler (or a bowl within a pan set-up) melt chocolate over simmering water, stirring smooth. Once melted, stir in the olive oil and cayenne. In your mixer or a mixing bowl by hand, beat egg yolks with ½ cup sugar and vanilla pod seeds or extract until combined and pale in color. Stir melted chocolate mixture into eggs, a bit at a time, incorporating it swiftly to keep the eggs from cooking too quickly. Then add the almond meal flour.
Set this mixture aside and beat the egg whites with your mixer until foamy and white. Slowly beat in the ¼ cup of remaining sugar and the cream of tartar. Continue beating until the egg whites are stiff but not quite meringue. Fold ¼ of your egg white mixture into the chocolate batter, then the rest, a ¼ at a time until completely mixed. The batter will be sort of firm like a loose cookie dough consistency and may be a bit tough to work with, take extra care when folding in the portion of egg whites. As you add more, the batter will become looser and smoother, making it easier to handle. Pour the batter into an 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan (I think a springform pan works best!) that has been lined with foil or baking parchment paper.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely and then pop open the spring and slide onto your serving dish, carefully removing any baking paper or foil. Serve as is or garnish with raspberries, chocolate shavings, almonds, glaze or dust with powdered sugar and cayenne.