cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Last night I sat on the couch feeling a bit flu-ish. Just those achy tingling feelings accompanied by a pounding headache. So naturally i decided to watch cooking shows to cheer myself up. Unfortunately Brazilian cooking shows aren't very interesting. No, i take that back. There are only two Brazilian cooking shows worth watching and they are both hosted by Frenchies speaking odd Portuguese; Claude Troisgros from Que Maravilha and Olivier Anquier from Diario do Olivier. These two are worthwhile and present updated/internationalized Brasilian cuisine. Anyway, neither of these shows were on. On the American front the only cooking shows my cable channels air are that Cake Boss clown making spaghetti in a studio kitchen and Man versus Food. Not the best way to represent American cuisine i'm afraid. At least our British culinary friends are well represented. The channel GNT loves hosting marathons of Jamie Oliver, Gordon the asshole and very recently Nigella Lawson. Poor Nigella has unfortunately been in the news lately highlighted under terrible circumstances, but I find her to be a very creative cook, and the show now playing, Nigellissima, is quite relaxing to watch. So indeed that is what i ended up watching last night and yes of course she made a lovely grain-free olive oil tart which i decided to try out today. In preparation i sent an email to my best Brazilian foodie friend, Rafael, asking if he had started watching the new series on tv. His answer: I just watched Nigella and at first thought she was another terrible Donna Hay...but not! She is very good. Today I made her Ice cream. Did you laugh? I couldn't stop. Yes, they show Donna Hay's godforsaken Fast, Fresh and Simple here, which is the Australian version of Sandra Lee's Semi Homemade. Don't even get me started.  

So this little cake isn't exactly the recipe Nigella made, i used rice and cassava flour instead of almonds as i never have nuts "on hand." I haven't tried it yet.....but im expecting a very strong punch from it because i used extra virgin olive oil instead of regular olive oil. damn! Hey, i told you i was feeling a bit flu-ish. Minor mistake? We'll see. Extra virgin olive oil has a much deeper darker flavor than regular olive oil. I think i will be able to handle it, but just in case i plan on whipping some fresh cream on the side to try and mellow it out a bit if needed.

As usual it has been a few months since my last blog post. But i've not been lazy. I hope to pick things up for real this time. You see, i finally made a real/proper/legitimate website for my "business" here in Brasil. I invite you all to check it out even though the information is written in Portuguese. Mallory Ferland Fotografia & Gastronomia is up and running and waiting (hoping) for a few clients. The Salty Cod will still be the Salty Cod, and hopefully now that i feel i have a purpose it will translate back into that passion which went by the wayside.

If you are interested in making Nigella's Cake, you can find the recipe here or at a thousand other online blogs. If you do use the recipe from her site, i might warn to not use a full 125 ml of water. It's way too much and will give you a chocolate soup and a baking time of over one and a half hours. Another tip is to use any style cake pan you like. The cake shrinks in from the edges so a spring form isn't necessary, an attractive ceramic dish works well and can be used straight to serve from.

Well that's it, talk to you later. 

UPDATE: So we ate (half the tart) after dinner and holy cow! it's so good! the most simple usually are. The extra virgin didn't do any harm at all, neither of us could taste any olive--it translates into a nutty flavor. The texture is fabulous--like a dairy free chocolate cheesecake. So there you have it, the review.