Chocolate, Olive Oil and Pinot Noir Cake

, from Issue #87. November, 2019
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
Chocolate, Olive Oil and Pinot Noir Cake
Chocolate, Olive Oil and Pinot Noir Cake

This one-bowl wonder is an adaptation of a cake I made for my brother’s wedding a couple of years ago. It’s rich and moist and lasts well in an airtight container. Here, I’ve added a rich chocolate icing and chunks of nougat to bump up the decadence factor for the festive season, but the cake alone with a sprinkle of icing sugar and a drizzle of runny cream makes for a nice dessert. 


Serves: 8-10


3 cups plain flour
1½ cups good-quality cocoa powder
2½ cups caster sugar 
1 tablespoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt 
150 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup pinot noir 
2 cups cooled black coffee
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar 
⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil 
Chocolate icing 
300 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped 
250 grams butter 
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
To garnish
roughly chopped nougat, (optional)



Equipment: Grease and line 2 x 20cm loose-bottom cake tins (see Cook’s note).

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Cake: Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the chocolate and use a large fork to whisk to combine. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the pinot noir, coffee, vinegar and olive oil. Whisk to combine into a wet batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the tins and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins.

Icing: Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water – don’t let the bowl touch the water. Stir until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the olive oil. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and cool, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until the icing is thick enough to spread onto the cooled cake.

To assemble: Top one of the cakes with 3-4 heaped tablespoons of icing and gently spread out to just meet the edges. Place the second cake on top and dollop the remaining icing on before spreading and topping with nougat.

Cook’s note: If you don’t have two tins, you can take turns baking the cakes; just make sure you re-grease and line the tin after the first cake. Alternatively, you can halve the mixture and make one cake. If you find you have too much icing, keep it in the fridge for when you need a quick sauce for ice cream.