Monday, 5 May 2014

£1 chocolate cake - food waste weekend

Question - If you own the chickens are the eggs free or do you have to count the cost of the chickens into the original price...

... let me tell you that calculating the price of a cake is not an easy task and it's not as though I can go into a shop and buy 50g of cocoa powder so when Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog announced that her #weshouldcocoa challenge for May was to try and make a chocolate cake for £1 I was rather intrigued as I love a good challenge and of course I love a good chocolate cake... and for me it had to be a proper chocolate cake, rice crispy squares wouldn't do... I knew that if I scrimped on the quality of chocolate then the taste would be wrong although I was prepared to go for a good quality cocoa powder rather than a bar of 80% chocolate that would have broken the bank at the first hurdle.  In my efforts to succeed I tried two completely vile 'one-egg' microwave cakes that came out more like cement than anything and it's really funny because in the back of my mind, whilst I searched high and low for inspiration I knew I would come back to this cake.  I believe it's origins were Nigella via Claudia Roden and for my mum it's her go-to passover cake, not that i'm saying my mum is cheap...

... anyway, I failed to hit the £1 target mainly due to the cost of free-range eggs and i'm sorry but i'm not willing to compromise on welfare for any price and I suppose I could have substituted olive oil for sunflower oil but as you know i'm a bit of a snob...

olive oil chocolate cake - £1.19
the original recipe called for ground almonds rather than flour but ground almonds are, gram for gram twice as expensive as regular flour and whilst they would make this cake taste divine a quick substitution has reduced it in price and given it much more of a proper cake consistency, obviously with the ground almonds this cake would make a great gluten-free, lactose-free cake but that's not why we're here...

oh and just incase you're wondering, this was a very delicious cake.  The olive oil adds the richness that the cocoa powder leaves out... it's a little dry and should be eaten with plenty of cream but then what shouldn't?

50g cocoa - 20p
150g plain flour - 10p
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda - 1p
200g caster sugar - 3p
150ml plain olive oil - 20p
3 large free-range eggs - 63p
a few drops of vanilla essence - 2p

pre-heat the oven to 170C and line a 25cm spring-form tin and grease it will a little olive oil

in a bowl, sieve the flour, bicarb and cocoa into the sugar and mix together

in another bowl whisk the eggs, oil and vanilla essence for roughly 4 minutes until you have a glorious pale yellow thick cream then pour the flour mix into the egg and oil mix and whisk together until fully combined

pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 35-40 mins or until risen and just set, if you can get it slightly gooey then all the better but it'll taste just as good fully cooked through

set aside to cool on a wire rack for 10 mins, then remove the spring-form and base and let is cool fully before serving

eat and of course, enjoy!



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