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!

26 comments:

  1. This cake actually looks really posh and I can just imagine it drizzled ith double cream or with a scoop of Chantilly cream on the side. And now I've made myself want exactly that even though I've only just eaten breakfast!

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    1. I know Laura, a little cream would have been wonderful...

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  2. Gorgeous photos and a delicious looking cake Dom, would be lovely with some clotted cream or ice cream on the side.

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  3. Completely agree on compromising on welfare, even when I'm at university and sobbing into my practically empty purse, I refuse to buy non-free-range! If you can't afford animal welfare then don't buy animal products! (That's my part-time vegan nasty streak coming through!) Cake looks delicious! xxx
    La Lingua : Food, Life, Love, Travel, Friends, Italy

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    1. Thanks Lucy... I think you have to set your own agenda and stick to it... and free-range eggs taste so much better!

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  4. Now, this is I cake I for one would fully enjoy, even though of coruse I can see the point of using almonds instead of flour (I also tried a Nigella cake with pistachio instead of almonds/flour, and it's the end of the World!). Pity for the £ 1 limit, but you did well not to compromise on the eggs: free-range ones are really THE thing!!! And I', very much intrigued by the use of olive oil: I adore it, and was eyeing yesterday the recipe of an olive oil ice cream... ;-p

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    1. Thanks... the olive oil is so very interesting and you can definitely taste it, it adds a superb richness to it x

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  5. What a delicious cake!!!
    Have a nice week

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  6. Your cake looks lovely and I'd say that it's close enough to a quid, given that you can, as you say, reduce cost by changing oil and eggs for cheaper, if you so wish.

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    1. thanks Kavey... i'm pleased with how close I got!

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  7. I have been anguishing over this challenge, convinced that it's not possible to make a good, nice tasting normal kind of chocolate cake for £1 if you use quality ingredients of known provenance. However, we get our free range eggs for £1 for six from the farm gate so I could have made this cake for closer to the £1 target.
    I now feel compelled to take part!

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    1. you see Jean, you'd hit the mark perfectly... and now that I think about it my local road-side egg seller dows much cheaper eggs so I think I could have done it too... darn!

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  8. Caster sugar 200g costing 3p?? Do you mean 30??!

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  9. My goodness what a challenge a whole cake for a quid. You did an exceptional job and didn't scrimp where it counted. And the best thing its a good looking cake.

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  10. GOOD effort Dom and a cake that delicious for £1:19 is on the money in my book! I will find this challenge easier, as you know, I have hens and delicious free range eggs, so all I will do is calculate the cost of a bit of chicken feed, if I am going to be VERY pedantic! LOVELY recipe and a challenge that I am looking forward to doing when I am home in a week! Karen in sunny Suffolk for a wee break, and BOY do I need it!

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  11. Oh well done Dom - a tough challenge, but someone's got to do it! I bet the olive oil made it taste quite rich. As you will have seen, I did make a compromise here and used sunflower oil. The eggs are the real difficulty; I was very lucky in coming across some really cheap eggs from a farm shop where the chickens were running around all over the place and definitely free range. Thanks for taking part :)

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  12. Definitely a tough challenge and I can't blame you for not wanting to compromise on a few of the ingredients. This cake looks absolutely divine... and I would love a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream to go along side it!! YUM!!! :)

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  13. Great effort and I would say you rose to the challenge rather well - I'm pretty impressed with being able to turn out a chocolate cake at that price. I would never be able to compromise on the eggs either.

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  14. Delish! I also would never buy battery hens' eggs, even for any challenge in the world. Do you buy caster sugar in big amount then for it to come to such a low price? Just curious and would really love to know. My grandma who lived in the Russian village used to buy huge sacks of sugar to last a very long time.

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  15. Looks like a very tasty cake and I'm impressed that you manage to stick close to the budget. I agree on the free range eggs issue but I think it should be free if it's from your own chickens for the purpose of this challenge. I have yet to work out if I can manage this as my ingredients are usuall quite costly!

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  16. I'm just working my cake out now as I type this! I've scraps of paper all over the place with scribbled costs and ingredients everywhere... Its making me appreciate how fortunate I am I don't have to worry (much) about the cost of my baking habit.

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  17. Call me a party pooper, but I worked it out as nearer £2 if you change the sugar from 3p to 30p (which is more realistic), still good value but not the £1 exercise it suggests! Hmmmm!

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    1. well aren't you just the fucking bees knees....

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