Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A perfect chocolate cake for Mother's Day

Okay, with upcoming Mother's Day - I was thinking of what dessert recipe would I love to serve up to my Mum if I was to have her over for a meal and immediately came up with this Nigella Lawson chocolate cake classic made with olive oil (and can also be made gluten free).  
Now, my Mum is on a particular diet that she follows after a few nasty episodes of Diverticulitis that I sometimes think is harder than a diabetic diet.  She would probably nosh on the flour version of this cake (she's got a thing for nuts now even if they're finally ground) but she'd not like the raspberries or strawberries I'd serve along side the slice of cake so she'd would opt for a calcium supplement of ice cream.

So, if you're looking for a healthy alternative to a chocolate cake dessert that won't muck up your blood sugars, then this is the one (and remember, you can eat a smaller slice, which will reduce the caloric and carb count even more - so you don't have to miss out on a slice).  I like to do the 50/50 version I show below, just because I try to limit my carbs I eat, and it still tastes as good as the full sugar version.  
Please note, I have never made the gluten free version yet.  So if you do try that version, let me know how it turns out, whether you use the full sugar version or 50/50 version I've shown below!

Bon appetite and Happy Mother's Day!

Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
·     5 tbsp boiling water
·     1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
·     2 tsp vanilla extract
·     3/4 cup all purpose flour
·     1/2 tsp baking soda
·     1/4 tsp salt
·     1 cup granulated sugar (*or use ½ cup sugar / ½ cup Splenda*)
·     3 large eggs
·     2/3 cups olive oil

1.    Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly coat a 9-in. springform pan with olive oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2.    Pour boiling water over cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Whisk in vanilla. Reserve.
3.    Stir flour with baking soda and salt in a small bowl and stir until uniform.
4.    Combine sugar with eggs and olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow. Scrape in cocoa mixture and beat until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5.    Bake in centre of oven until a cake tester inserted into centre of cake comes out almost clean, about 50 min. Let cool in pan for 10 min, then run a knife around the sides of the pan and release sides from base. Remove cake from pan and set onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off parchment paper before serving.

Calories – 318 (recipe above is supposed to serve EIGHT)
Protein – 4 grams
Carbohydrates – 36 grams (*with 50/50 split of sugar – 24 grams*)
Fibre – 1 gram

~ Gluten Free Version ~

2/3 cup regular olive oil, plus more for greasing
6 tablespoons good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
½ cup boiling water
2 teaspoons best vanilla extract
1½ cups almond meal (flour) (see Note below)
½ teaspoon baking soda 
Pinch salt
1 cup superfine sugar (**or use ½ cup sugar / ½ cup Splenda**)
3 eggs

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 1 x 9-inch springform pan with a little oil and line the base with parchment paper.
2. Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or pitcher 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. In another smallish bowl, combine the almond meal with the baking soda and pinch of salt.
3. 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 3 minutes, until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.
4. 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 almond meal mixture. Scrape down and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared pan.
5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very center, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean, but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it. Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its pan, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the pan. Leave to cool completely or eat while still warm with some ice cream, as a dessert.  It'll be abit "wobbily" in the centre making it more like a pudding type of cake ... but still good according to Ina in her recipe link above.

Nutrition for Gluten Free:
Calories – 379 (recipe above is supposed to serve EIGHT)
Protein – 6.8 grams
Carbohydrates – 31 grams (**with 50/50 split of sugar – 18.5 grams**)
Fibre – 3.4 gram

Psst!  There's also another olive oil version of this cake too with lemon ... that I hope to make one day ... you can find it at this link, but I haven't figured out the nutrition in this recipe yet.  That will be another baking day experiment, and probably perfect for Father's Day!!

Calorie Count - https://www.caloriecount.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php - was used to analyze nutrition values above.  I find this helps me when calculating for carbs, etc. with foods that I make at home from a recipe.   Remember, I am not a dietitian or CDE or medical professional … therefore … if you are not sure of the nutritional amount … either ask your own health care provider and/or do the calculations yourself!

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