Olive Oil is staple in any kitchen, with Spain being the world’s leading producer and exporter of the ingredient – nicknamed “liquid gold”. There are over 200 different olive tree varietals in Spain, and the versatile recipe component can be used in a variety of ways – from conserving, braising, sautéing, basting, sousing, stewing, roasting, comfiting, and marinating, to raw preparations like salads and dressings. Each olive oil is different. The flavor varies depending on the varietal of the olive, its place of growth, the degree of ripeness of the fruit, the soil type, and the climatic conditions. Pairing olive oil with specific dishes is a matter of personal taste – no different from salt, wine, or whiskey. As for a general guide, intense fruity olive oils (such as the picual, hojiblanca or cornicabra varieties) are recommended for oily fish, vegetables like broccoli, salads, and meats, among others. Light, fruity olive oils (such as the arbequina, cornicabra, empeltre or arbosana varieties) are recommended for white fish, chicken, vegetables or desserts.
Spanish olive oil can be used to entertain your guests in an unexpected way that incorporates incredible flavors, healthy benefits, and extraordinary quality. According to the FDA, evidence shows that using two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in our dishes to replace the same amount of saturated fat found in other ingredients can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, thanks to the ingredient’s high oleic acid content. That’s what makes this cake a sweet end to a meal that won’t wreck your health goals. This Almond Cake made with marcona almonds and topped with a dark chocolate ganache incorporates olive oil in the cake batter and in the chocolatey icing. The result? A light, moist cake that will leave guests clamoring for an extra slice.
(for one cake, 8 slices)
For the cake
8 oz marcona almonds
½ cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Spanish olive oil
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the ganache
1/2 cup coconut cream
8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin Spanish olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 F. While the oven is heating, prepare the cake. Blitz almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in an food processor. In a standing mixer with a warm mixing bowl, beat eggs until fluffy, one minute. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat at high speed until eggs are pale and volume is tripled, 3-4 minutes. Add almond sugar mixture and almond flour to the eggs. Alternate drizzling in the olive oil and almond milk. Add zest and cinnamon. Pour the batter into a springform pan and bake for 20 minutes.
While baking the cake, make the ganache. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium size bowl. In a separate small saucepan, heat the coconut cream until just boiling. Pour cream over chocolate and let sit 5 minutes. Gently stir, being careful not to add too much air. Let ganache sit one hour. Ice cake with ganache and set aside to cool.
Thank you to Chef Seamus Mullen from Olive Oils from Spain for the recipe.