Monday, December 14, 2015

When in doubt, just talk about chocolate or throw in a really long quote

I'm up late tonight, on stand-by for the final grammar check as my daughter is struggling with an English essay. Truth be told, I'm struggling, too, with the sheer December-ness of everything. The idea of crafting a clever blog post is a bit beyond me right now*.

She's sorting through relevant passages, trying to prove a point about totalitarianism and manipulative language. I would say this is what you get for procrastinating but...

Pot = Black
Apple = Right up against the damn tree

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake a la Gjusta | Cheesy Pennies

How about some chocolate cake while we wait? It could be a long night.

Rich Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Olive Oil Icing

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake a la Gjusta | Cheesy Pennies
by Sharon Graves
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

On my first visit to Gjusta, in Venice, I fell in love with their chocolate cake. I'm not normally a chocolate cake person, but the guy helping me raved about it, and I was intrigued by the pink peppercorns against the bright white icing. I paid, and tucked into the cake a few hours later when I got home. It was phenomenal...moister than moist, tasting deeply of chocolate and exactly sweet enough but no more. The icing actually tasted white, and the peppercorns were perfect. I have yet to find their exact recipe, but loved coming close with an adaptation of this cake from Food52 with an olive-oil fortified icing inspired by a glaze in the new Gjelina cookbook. It's not quite as mind-blowing as the original, but it's really, really close**.

    For the cake
    • 1 1/2 c. flour
    • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 3/4 c. sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. espresso powder
    • pinch of ground black pepper
    • 1 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 1/4 c. whole milk
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
    • 1/3 c. Amaretto liquor
    For the icing
    • 2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
    • 3 Tbs. hot water, plus more as needed
    • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
    • pink peppercorns, for finishing


    Preheat your oven to 350° F.

    Prep a deep-sided 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

    Whisk flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder and pepper together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the olive oil, milk, eggs, almond extract and Amaretto until smooth and combined. Stir in the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, until the top is puffed and and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes, then release the sides of the pan and cool completely.

    To make the olive oil icing, sift the powdered sugar into a bowl and add the hot water and olive oil. Stir until smooth. The consistency should be like a very soft frosting, so add more sugar or hot water as needed.

    Spread the icing over the top of the cake. Dot with a few pink peppercorns and serve.

    Chocolate Olive Oil Cake - homage to Gjusta | Cheesy Pennies

    * I don't even have the creativity to do a real footnote.
    ** That was super close to being a full paragraph.  And, the paper is super close to being done, too! Hallelujah!

    This was the birthday dessert for the game night group this month. 


    1. Love the post! Can't wait to try the cake. Does cheesy pennies have an emergency hotline #? - sara

      1. Butterball I am not, but feel free to message me if you run into trouble. I'll (ahem) probably be awake.

    2. You are lightyears ahead of me! I didn't know there WAS a Gjelina cookbook!

      1. Google is a big help when it comes to discovering these things. Here's a link to a review.

    3. I had a slice of that cake. Delicious!

      1. I may have actually groaned out loud with happiness when I took first bite.