passover week - ottolenghi’s chocolate fudge cake with a twist

Welcome to the final recipe for Passover Week 2016 and it's a show stopper.

This gem from Ottolenghi is flourless so it was always suitable for Passover but what would you say if I told you it was also dairy free? Don't thank me now, just race out and buy some extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter, lots of eggs and some dark chocolate and make this!

I won't lie and say this is a cake that requires no effort, because it does if you follow the recipe to the letter. There is chopping, melting, stirring, beating, cooling and waiting.

Ottolenghi's instructions are then to bake the cake in 2 separate layers.  I used about half the batter for the first layer and found the cooking times needed to be adjusted. I stored the batter in the fridge while the first layer was cooking and cooling. The first layer took 30 minutes to bake whilst the second layer took 40 minutes. Is this step strictly necessary? I don't think so as the 2 separate layers were barely discernible when the cake was cut. Next time I'd bake the cake for about 55 minutes and dispense with the whole 2 step process.

The original recipe used butter but on a whim I decided to make the cake using extra virgin olive oil. The oil and chocolate mixture did seize a bit so there was no runny chocolate sauce texture as described in the original recipe. In the end it all worked out once the egg yolks were added but you have been warned. The cake has a mild olive oil flavour so use a good quality, well flavoured oil.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Ottolenghi’s Chocolate Fudge Cake with a Twist - makes a 17 cm cake.

To make a 20 cm cake use the quantities in the link.

150ml extra virgin olive oil or 150g unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
215g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces 
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar  
35mls water 
3 large eggs, separated 
pinch of salt 
cocoa powder for dusting
To serve: raspberries/pomegranate seeds or sour cherries 
Preheat oven to 170°C (325°F). Butter a 17cm spring form pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment/baking paper.  

In a large heat proof bowl, combine the olive oil or unsalted butter and the chopped chocolate. Combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Pour the boiling syrup over the olive oil and chocolate and stir until they have melted into a runny chocolate sauce. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture and then beat until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Set the bowl aside until the mixture comes to room temperature. 
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and salt to a firm but not dry meringue. Fold a third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture. Once combined, add another third, fold and then fold in the remaining third until just combined. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan reserving the remaining batter for later and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it on a wire rack to cool completely.  
Flatten the cake with an offset spatula and pour the rest of the batter on top. Level the surface again. Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 20-25 minutes (my cake batter was stored in the fridge and took 40 minutes to bake). When tested with a skewer the cake should have a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Allow to cool completely in the spring form pan before unmoulding the cake. Dust with cocoa powder before serving. I added some pomegranate seeds for some added colour and texture but I think raspberries or some sour cherries would also be nice.


The cake is moist, dense and delicious and will keep covered at room temperature for 4 days. I'd be inclined to store the cake in the fridge, bringing it to room temperature before serving.

See you all again next week.

Bye for now,


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