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Cocoa for Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Asked by jio. Answered on 29th September 2014

Full question

Can I use Dutch process cocoa for the Chocolate Olive Oil Cake?

Our answer

Nigella's Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (from Nigellissima and on the Nigella website) contains unsweetened cocoa powder. Nigella developed the recipe in the UK, where there is no specific differentiation between Dutch processed and natural cocoa powder. Therefore either type is fine for this recipe.

We suspect you are asking as the recipe contains bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) as the raising agent and normally you would want to use the more acidic natural cocoa powder. However as this cake is a dense cake made with ground almonds (almond meal) it does not have the airy texture of a regular cake and so does not need to have very active raising agents. In addition, regular olive oil is usually slightly acidic which will help the chemical reaction with the bicarbonate of soda.

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