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A Little Pick Me Up.

Nigella Lawson has always been an inspiration to me, her struggle with her ill husband and the inevitable inappropriate relationship which followed. It shows that we are only human even celebrities, people may not be sold on the idea that she always has friends randomly turn up and of course she is ready with her amazing dinner party food at any moment but that doesn’t matter, the point is that if you are having a dinner party this is how easy it should be…The olive oil chocolate cake peaked my interest due to it usually having almonds in and I had run out of flour and my dad had also given me a large amount of beautiful Spanish olive oil which was crying out for something, after making a couple of full size it was evident this needed to be miniaturised so they could be kept for those times when a dessert is needed. I discovered to my delight that it fit perfectly into the 6 ramekins I had saved from being thrown out because “I probably wouldn’t use them”. I have made the recipe several times now with great success, my only real failure is forgetting they are in the freezer and buying other desserts unnecessarily. One thing I cant say for sure is what the equivalent vegan egg alternative would be – I would assume either applesauce or possibly aquafaba? I urge you to use the best olive oil you can afford because it does affect the richness and quality of the cake.

Mini Olive Oil Chocolate Cakes

Serving Size:
6 Single Servings
Time:
Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 150ml/5fl oz regular olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 50g/2oz cocoa powder, sifted
  • 125ml/4fl oz boiling water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g/5½oz ground almonds or 125g/4½oz plain flour (a gluten-free if required or on a low-FODMAP diet)
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt
  • 200g/7oz caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Grease and flour 6 standard small ramekins. Use a small amount of olive oil for greasing and the flour will prevent excess sticking.
  2. 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 (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.
  3. In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt.
  4. Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment (or other bowl and whisk arrangement of your choice) and beat together vigorously for about three minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.
    Note: whilst you can whisk this mixture by hand I can promise you that its not worth it – even a small electric hand whisk will do.
  5. 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 almonds (or flour) mixture.
  6. Scrape down and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared ramekins. Bake for 20-25 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.
  7. Leave to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, leave them in their ramekins, 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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