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Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Sinking

Asked by bronte69. Answered on 30th July 2020

Full question

Whenever I bake Nigella’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, it always ends up with a massive crater in the middle.

I always make sure that: the cake goes straight in to the oven; the temperature is correct, the measurements of ingredients are correct, I don’t open the oven door, I grease the sides of the tin as instructed, all my ingredients are within date and the correct size of tin is used.

If I leave the cake in longer for the middle to cook, as clearly this is the problem, the sides burn. Help!

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

Nigella's Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (from NIGELLISSIMA) can be made with ground almonds, for a gluten-free cake, or plain flour. It is a very popular cake thanks to its versatility and use of olive oil. We assume that the problem occurs with the gluten-free version of the cake as gluten-free cakes will have a tendency to sink slightly, though it should not have a large crater in the centre.

It seems, from the description, correct to suggest that it is likely that the centre is not quite cooked, causing it to sink as the cake cools. If you are using a fan oven check the handbook for the temperature adjustment, as some ovens need different adjustments to the one suggested. It may help to reduce the oven temperature by 10°C (25°F) and letting the cake bake for longer, to help it to bake more slowly and evenly. If you have baking strips (special strips of material that can be wrapped around cake tins) then you could, instead, try using these as they slow down the baking of the cake, so that it bakes more evenly.

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