Screw you, Nigella

I’m harboring some jealousy for the British Goddess divine.
[It’s rhetorical. Please, don’t sue me for libel. I’m actually in love with you.]


The rain this week puddled up in our yard and my husband had his fifth knee surgery this week, so we’re just as immobilized as the world around us. I also need comfort that our recent big life decisions won’t screw us out of our childhood dreams and that a cake can still rise in this weather.


So, I compromised with Nigella’s olive oil cake. Good lord, it’s fucking delicious.

I described it to Lucas before making it to see if he’d be interested. His face twisted into disgust as I mentioned the word “moist.”


As he’s eating it now, he’s not disgusted any more. If that horrible word could ever have any positive connotation to it, this is it.

You’ll need to line a 9 in. springform with butter and parchment, which sounds difficult but isn’t. Bite the bullet and get your hands a little greasy and get over it. The payoff is worthwhile.


Verbatim, you’ll need,

  • 150 ml olive oil (don’t use the spicy one your husband clandestinely slips into the pantry, unless you’re into it)
  • 50 g sifted cocoa powder
  • 125 ml boiling water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 grams almond or regular flour ( 125g)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 200 g sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • powdered sugar for dusting


Obviously, most of this is in metric, due to the British-ness of the recipe. I just kept taring my kitchen scale and ended up doing fine for an American (seriously, when are we going to go universal?).

Small bowl number one, boil water and whisk in cocoa powder and add vanilla.

Small bowl number two, combine flour of choice and baking soda, salt.

Kitchenaid-esque mixer, beat on high: eggs, sugar and oil x3 minutes. Once this reaches a creamy consistency, slow down and add your two small bowls of ingredients. Scrape down the side of the bowl and pour the combined mixture into your prepped springform. The consistency will be scarily thin, but I promise it works.


Bake at 325F for 40-45 minutes and place the springform on wire rack for 10 minutes after. Dust with sugar, as desired, and eat the shit out of it.


If you eat it right away, it acts as a mousse cake. If you cool it for later, it’ll solidify.

To clarify, this is a British cake. Cadbury is like a sugary outlier. Nigella has a consistent history for not creating processed, overly-sweetened foods. There is a subtlety to this cake that’s exquisite. It renders taking a minute to savor the details.
I could say something like this cake is simple so it reminds me that life is simple, but that’s not how cake works and I’ll figure out my life problems at some point. And I’ll probably be a little pudgy for a few days and then I’ll balance out my diet again and lose the excess.


But yeah, cake.


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