This moist, fluffy, and flavorful olive oil, cocoa and grated apple cake gets drizzled with luscious caramelized white chocolate!
This olive oil, cocoa and apple cake with caramelized white chocolate is the perfect, easy dessert you’ve been looking for! So, I’d suggest to seriously consider it for your next Thanksgiving (or even Christmas) dinner. This cake has some grated apple mixed in the batter, something that makes it extra moist, tender and fluffy and because it is made with olive oil it is a bit healthier and more forgiving, meaning that you don’t even have to bring all the ingredients at room temperature. Yes, I’ve made it with eggs straight from the fridge and the cake still came out perfect 🙂
This is a recipe given to me by my mom, and I had the chance to try it the last time I was in Crete (you may have seen some photos from Crete in my Instagram stories a few weeks ago). I won’t bother you with many details, but when I got back home I made this cake only to find it a lot moister than the one I’d tried at my parents’ house. I know you’re thinking that a moister cake can’t be a bad thing, but sometimes excess moisture can encourage gluten formation something that produces a cake with a tough, almost chewy, crumb. And I want my cakes to be as tender as possible! So the key here is balance!
Anyway, I called my mom and her answer was something like: “Well, sometimes I’ll grate three small apples instead of two large ones and if I notice that the batter is thin, I’ll just add some more flour”. I realized that I had some experimentation to do… After making a few alterations, I give you a moist, fluffy, and tender olive oil cake with a subtle chocolaty and apple flavor which is delicious plain or with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar. And if you want to transform it into a decadent festive dessert, then you just have to make some caramelized white chocolate.
This olive oil, cocoa and apple cake bridges two worlds. There’s the world of bundt cakes which I usually make with olive oil as a healthier option. Most bundts require the “creaming” method which results in more structure, strong enough to support a tall cake. An example is this chocolate sprinkled vanilla bundt cake. Since bundt cakes are sturdier with more of a “bite”, I find they make a nice afternoon snack or even a good breakfast when accompanied by a glass of milk.
The other world is the world of layer cakes. When making a layer cake I always use the “one bowl” method in which the butter is beaten with the flour so that it coats the flour granules preventing gluten formation. This results in an extra tender, delicate, and moist cake with a melt-in-your-mouth crumb, like this Xmas scented cake with vanilla buttercream.
This olive oil, cocoa, and apple cake is something belonging to both worlds. It’s probably because of the grated apple that is very tender, soft, and moist so it can easily be eaten as a snack but also served as a really nice dessert.
Caramelized white chocolate: from this ⇑ to that ⇓ !!!
Caramelized white chocolate is a magnificent thing (thanks David Lebovitz!). White chocolate gets baked in the oven for about an hour with very frequently stirring, about every ten minutes (no pain – no gain, guys!). This procedure caramelizes the sugars resulting in a deeper, less sweet chocolate with a caramel flavor. The longer you bake the chocolate, the darker and more intense its flavor will become. Just pay attention to the oven temperature because cocoa butter burns at temperatures above 266°F (130°C) and you don’t want that.
- Use whatever sweet apples you like, and grate them on the coarse side of your grater.
- Use all white sugar if you don’t have brown sugar.
- Use real white chocolate (it contains cocoa butter, sugar and milk solids and no other kind of fat)
- Keep oven temperature below 257°F (125°C) because cocoa butter will burn at a higher temperature, giving the chocolate an unpleasant taste.
- This cake is also delicious with a simple dark chocolate ganache (just use equal parts of cream and chocolate, measured by weight, and heat over low heat until smooth).
- This cake qualifies as a Thanksgiving dessert!
- For the cake:
- 2 ¼ cups (310 grams) cake/pastry flour (lightly scoop flour into measuring cup and then sift)
- ⅓ cup (30 grams) cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (210 grams) e.v. olive oil
- 1 cup (200 grams) white sugar
- ½ cup (100 grams) soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ⅓ cups (300 grams) grated apples, peeled (about 2 small)
- For the caramelized white chocolate:
- 7 oz (200 grams) real white chocolate
- 1 tablespoon cocoa butter or coconut oil or vegetable oil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). If you have a fan-forced oven it is preferred.
- Grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.
- Sift flour in a bowl, add the cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder and stir to mix.
- Transfer the olive oil, sugars, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer (or even a whisk) until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is creamy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
- Add the flour mixture and fold gently with a spatula until almost combined.
- Grate the apples, measure 1 and ⅓ cups and add it to the batter. Mix with the spatula until fully combined.
- Transfer mixture to the bundt pan and bake for 50 – 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let rest for 10 minutes, invert on a rack and cool completely.
- Roughly chop the white chocolate and transfer to a small baking pan. Bake at 257°F (125°C) for 1 hour or more, stirring every 10 minutes.
- At some times during this procedure, it may look crumbly. Just keep stirring and baking and it should become smooth again.
- Remove from oven when chocolate reaches your desired color. If it is still crumbly, add a tablespoon of cocoa butter and stir well. If you don’t have cocoa butter you can use coconut oil or a neutral flavor vegetable oil.
- Wait to cool until thick but pourable. Pour the caramelized chocolate over the cake and let it set. It will set to a fudgy consistency.
A good quality white chocolate contains about 30% cocoa butter. Since this percentage can vary depending on the brand, if your chocolate becomes crumbly you can add a tablespoon of cocoa butter, coconut oil or other vegetable oil to help it become smooth.
If you make the caramelized white chocolate prior to the cake, you can let it set and store it in a sealed container. When you reheat it and let it set for a second time, it may become firmer (like tempered chocolate). That’s why in this case I suggest warming it with the addition of 3.5 oz (100 grams) cream with 35% fat, to make it like a thick ganache.