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Chocolate olive oil cake

Chocolate olive oil cake

Few things feel as indulgent as a generous slice of chocolate cake. That's why we asked our lead Provenist (Georgie, who's also a private chef, nutritional therapist and the face behind the menu at our cafe, The Provenist) to cook up a recipe that would promise the unctuous, moreish, gleeful decadence that only chocolate cake can bring. But, this is a version with carefully restrained levels of sugar (we often use sugar substitutes like agave and natural honey) so you have a much less naughty way to get your chocolate fix. The combination of ground almonds and generous glugs of olive oil mean there's a well-tuned balance between subtle bite and silkiness. We like serving it with a dollop of fresh-from-the-fridge unsweetened yoghurt - both dairy and non-dairy work.

Makes enough for: ten slices

Put aside: 20 minutes for prep and 50 minutes for cooking

What you’ll need

150ml olive oil extra virgin or regular olive oil
50g cocoa powder a good-quality, branded option is generally better than a supermarket’s own version
2 shots of espresso adding in water to make it up to 100ml
10ml vanilla bean paste
160g ground almonds
3/4tsp baking powder
160g honey clear & runny
3 large eggs free-range
A large pinch of salt
Icing sugar for dusting
Plain yoghurt for serving

What to do

1. Preheat your oven to 165°C and line a springform tin (so the cake’s easier to lift out) with parchment and a little oil to grease.

2. Sift the cocoa powder into a small bowl and mix with the espresso to form a thick, smooth paste. Whisk in the vanilla and set aside. If it goes a touch thick, add a splash of boiling water to loosen it.

3. In another bowl, combine the almonds, baking powder and salt.

4. Now, take a third (and final!) bowl to whisk the honey, eggs and olive oil. Use an electric whisk or freestanding  mixer to get as much air in as possible, beating for about three minutes.

5. Turn down the speed and add the cocoa paste. Once it’s fully mixed in, add the almond mixture, scraping down  the sides to make sure nothing’s been missed before pouring your cake batter into the lined tin.

6. Bake for 50 minutes, before checking with a cake skewer. It should come out clean but the cake should still feel  fairly springy. Let it cool – don’t worry if it cracks a touch – and then release it from the tin, ready for cutting.

7. Serve each slice with a generous dollop of cool yoghurt and a dusting of icing sugar.

You could always…
Swap the espresso with orange zest and juice. As long as you make it up to 100ml with water. A pinch of cardamom would also work well.

If you live nearby or are passing through Bath on a day trip, come by to enjoy anything from brunch to coffee and a home-made, health-conscious cake at The Provenist.