I did not set out to make an epic vegan chocolate cake. I set out to make just another chocolate cake. It happened to be eggless and dairy-free — vegan — and it turned out epic. Chocolate cakes are a family favourite and I love trying out recipes that speak to me, and this one did.
From Ritu Dalmia’s Italian Khana: Desserts. Ever since I saw her on the TV series Italian Khana, I’ve wanted to buy her books and try out her recipes — which in turn are authentic Italian. Ritu is quite the successful host and restaurateur, and her love for Italian food shows through.
Whenever I’m in the mood to eat a cake and I have no eggs, I turn to her book, knowing fully well I’ll find a recipe that uses just olive oil. And the best part about this epic vegan chocolate cake? It’s made of extra virgin olive oil! Ritu succinctly talks about her recipes, and it seems just right. About using oil, she says, “ …it’s even better than using butter”, and I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly as I ate this chocolate olive oil cake.
Oil does not adversely affect the taste of your cakes and locks in a lot of moisture. Not at all what you’d expect of oil, right? Read this article on how different fats affect cakes if you’ve always used butter and are skeptical about using oil. And while we’re on the subject of oil, you might want to consider making these oil based cakes: the ultimate carrot cake, and the apple ring cake (apple ciambella) — you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
The chocolate olive oil cake is simply glorious! It’s light, not too dense, nor too sweet (I say that because I like less sugar in every sweet thing I eat, and I usually put less sugar in my cakes too — but I knew that the sugar in this recipe would help get the cake all fluffy and so I went ahead), it’s moist of course, and simply delightful. You won’t feel heavy either after you eat it, making it a perfect tea cake. Or an anytime cake (like it is for me).
If you want it sweeter then serve it with a sprinkling of icing sugar. This cake doesn’t need bells and whistles (read: icing), it’ll draw you like a siren with one whiff. And have I mentioned that it’s easy to make? No? Well, it is. It’s an easy cake to make — because you just put everything together and beat them together without having to add air to the non-existent eggs and butter, it’s a simple vegan chocolate cake, and it requires only 9 ingredients!
Perfect for first-time bakers, I say! Happy baking.
This cake will draw you like a siren with one whiff, without the bells and whistles (read: icing). It’s simply that glorious! It’s light, not too dense, it's moist, and simply delightful. You won’t feel heavy after you eat it, making it a perfect tea cake. Or an anytime cake. It is epic, after all.
- 280 g (9.8 oz) flour use gluten-free flour for a gluten-free cake
- 280 g (9.8 oz) caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or 1/2 stick vanilla pod
- 100 ml (3.4 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
- 200 ml (6.8 fl oz) chilled water
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (356ºF) and brush a 20-cm (8-inch) cake pan with olive oil and dust it with flour.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl by whisking it for half a minute.
Slowly beat in the wet ingredients one by one (add the vinegar last), till the resulting mixture is smooth.
Pour this into the cake pan and bake it for 30 minutes. Take it out immediately — you'll know when it is done, if you see the cake leaving the side of the cake pan.
Serving: Let the cake cool down to room temperature before you serve it. You could sprinkle some icing sugar over it if you want — use some lace or a doily as a stencil.
Equipment: 20-cm (8-inch) cake pan, greased with oil and dusted with flour.
Monitor your cake, and take it out of the oven after 30 minutes. It tends to dry out quickly, you see. Sprinkle some water if your cake does turn out dry because you forgot to take it out of the oven sooner.
Italian Khana: Desserts by Ritu Dalmia (Amazon)
Ritu Dalmia (Wikipedia)
Diva of the Kitchen (The Hindu)
FAT CHANCE: IS BUTTER REALLY BETTER? (The Cake Blog)