Black Beauty Chocolate Cake

I have made this cake at least half a dozen times and each time it has left all of us craving for more…all thanks to Nigella for her fabulous recipe. This undeniably is a red-carpet cake. With its deep black colour and velvetty texture, it almost melts in your mouth. Its my all-time companion – for celebrations, tea-time or mainly as a stress-buster. And its incredibly easy to make.


  • 150ml regular olive oil, plus extra for greasing (I have also tried with virgin olive oil and its equally delicious)
  • 50g – cocoa powder, sifted
  • 125ml – boiling water (adding a little coffee to it enhances the flavour)
  • 2 tsp – vanilla extract
  • 150g ground almonds or 125g plain flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 200g caster sugar (I always replace 50 gms of it with brown sugar)
  • 3 free-range eggs


  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF. Grease a 22 or 23 cm/ 9inch springform tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.
  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 pinch of salt.
  4. Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl. With an electric beater, beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.
  5. Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture and continue beating. When all is scraped in, you can slowly add the ground almond (or flour) mixture.
  6. Stir the mixture a bit with a spatula to bring it all together, but don’t over beat it. Then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin.
  7. Bake for 40-45 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.
  8. Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin.

P.S.: This cake can also be devoured warm with some ice cream, as a pudding.

Get baking ! 🙂




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