Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream


 
Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta cake with Dark Chocolate buttercream - this cake is flavoursome from the olive oil, with a perfect crumb from the ricotta in the batter. It is studded with dark chocolate chunks throughout, and finished with a silky smooth dark chocolate buttercream. The perfect elevated loaf cake. #loafcake #poundcake #ricottacake
Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta cake with Dark Chocolate buttercream - this cake is flavoursome from the olive oil, with a perfect crumb from the ricotta in the batter. It is studded with dark chocolate chunks throughout, and finished with a silky smooth dark chocolate buttercream. The perfect elevated loaf cake. #loafcake #poundcake #ricottacake
Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta cake with Dark Chocolate buttercream - this cake is flavoursome from the olive oil, with a perfect crumb from the ricotta in the batter. It is studded with dark chocolate chunks throughout, and finished with a silky smooth dark chocolate buttercream. The perfect elevated loaf cake. #loafcake #poundcake #ricottacake
Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta cake with Dark Chocolate buttercream - this cake is flavoursome from the olive oil, with a perfect crumb from the ricotta in the batter. It is studded with dark chocolate chunks throughout, and finished with a silky smooth dark chocolate buttercream. The perfect elevated loaf cake. #loafcake #poundcake #ricottacake
Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta cake with Dark Chocolate buttercream - this cake is flavoursome from the olive oil, with a perfect crumb from the ricotta in the batter. It is studded with dark chocolate chunks throughout, and finished with a silky smooth dark chocolate buttercream. The perfect elevated loaf cake. #loafcake #poundcake #ricottacake
Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta cake with Dark Chocolate buttercream - this cake is flavoursome from the olive oil, with a perfect crumb from the ricotta in the batter. It is studded with dark chocolate chunks throughout, and finished with a silky smooth dark chocolate buttercream. The perfect elevated loaf cake. #loafcake #poundcake #ricottacake
Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta cake with Dark Chocolate buttercream - this cake is flavoursome from the olive oil, with a perfect crumb from the ricotta in the batter. It is studded with dark chocolate chunks throughout, and finished with a silky smooth dark chocolate buttercream. The perfect elevated loaf cake. #loafcake #poundcake #ricottacake
Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta cake with Dark Chocolate buttercream - this cake is flavoursome from the olive oil, with a perfect crumb from the ricotta in the batter. It is studded with dark chocolate chunks throughout, and finished with a silky smooth dark chocolate buttercream. The perfect elevated loaf cake. #loafcake #poundcake #ricottacake
Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta cake with Dark Chocolate buttercream - this cake is flavoursome from the olive oil, with a perfect crumb from the ricotta in the batter. It is studded with dark chocolate chunks throughout, and finished with a silky smooth dark chocolate buttercream. The perfect elevated loaf cake. #loafcake #poundcake #ricottacake

Oye. It’s kind of taking a while to get back into the swing of things since we’ve gotten home from New Zealand. Although I refuse to admit it, the trip back kind of took it out of me this time. Home was amazing, but there was a big to-do list waiting for me, that is kinda looming. But I feel like i’ve finally caught up on sleep, and am getting back into a routine (and we got a new foster cat this week, so all is right with the world!), so enough complaining, and let’s talk loaf cakes. Specifically, this chocolate chunk olive oil ricotta cake with dark chocolate buttercream. Yes it’s a mouthful. Literally. A delicious, chocolate, ricotta olive oil cake mouthful.

This is the perfect cake for if you want something easy to make, but still a little fancy. Because the cake is olive oil based, there is no need to cream butter and sugar. I added a little almond meal in to help give it that perfect dense texture, and the ricotta plays perfectly with the fruity olive oil. I topped it with a quick dark chocolate buttercream, which comes together super quickly, but utilises melted chocolate to help keep it silky. It’s amazing without the buttercream, but even more amazing with. You do you.

A few wee tips:

  • There aren’t really too many tips for this one! I made it in a pound sized loaf tin, and tented it just toward the end.

  • A good quality dark chocolate and good quality olive oil really make a difference here, so if you can, get a good quality of both!

  • This does make quite a bit of buttercream, which I like, but feel free to scale it back by a third if you want a little less ( I wouldn’t if I were you, but you choose!)

 

 

Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream

- Makes one loaf cake -

Dark Chocolate buttercream from Butter and Brioche via The Brick Kitchen

Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta Cake
250g good quality ricotta
100g extra virgin olive oil
135g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 eggs, at room temperature
60g milk
200g all-purpose flour
50g almond meal
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
185g good quality dark chocolate (I used Guittard 72% wafers), chopped into chunks

Filling
150g good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
195g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 tsp salt
150g powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
70g dutch process cocoa, sifted
2-3 Tbsp heavy cream

 

- PROCESS -

CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Grease a loaf pan and line with a parchment paper sling.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, olive oil, sugar, vanilla bean paste, eggs, and milk. In a second bowl, sift together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two additions, mixing until combined. Add the chopped chocolate, and fold in using a rubber spatula.

 Transfer to the loaf tin and bake for 55-60 minutes, checking for doneness with a skewer at 55 minutes. It should come out clean with a few crumbs (keep in mind that if you poke it into the chocolate it will come out with some chocolate on it - you are looking for doneness of the cake itself). If the cake is browning too quickly, tent the top with foil for the last 15-20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack and cooling completely.

DARK CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM

Melt the dark chocolate in 15 second increments in the microwave, stirring well between each until melted. Set aside to cool completely. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy, approx. 4 minutes. Add the salt, powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste, and cocoa, and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice. Add the melted chocolate and mix well until silky. If needed, add cream 1 tbsp at a time to get the frosting to spreadable consistency.

Using an offset spatula, spread the buttercream over the top of the loaf cake.

Store leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container.

Chocolate Chunk Olive Oil Ricotta cake with Dark Chocolate buttercream - this cake is flavoursome from the olive oil, with a perfect crumb from the ricotta in the batter. It is studded with dark chocolate chunks throughout, and finished with a silky smooth dark chocolate buttercream. The perfect elevated loaf cake. #loafcake #poundcake #ricottacake

Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache


 
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting
Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting

There are very few things I would change about my Husband Rich. He's the consistent to my rollercoaster moods, the calm to my crazy. But he has horrific taste in frosting. Unless it's what we call "shitty chocolate icing" (I've since managed to at least get him to agree to a chocolate american buttercream), he doesn't want anything to do with it. He will scrape the buttercream off cakes, chop it off the top of cupcakes, or just flat out refuse anything involving swiss meringue buttercream. Last weekend I was taking a cake for a friends birthday and he asked if he could BRING HIS OWN FROSTING. And as much as I try to not let it bug me, I always get a little bummed out when he scrapes frosting off or eats around it. My theory is that the fancier it is, the longer it took me, or the more components it has, the higher the chances are of him not liking it. Banana bread? He will eat a whole loaf in a day. Multi component choux buns? He's gonna ask me to leave him some unfilled so he can eat them plain. Luckily I have loads of friends who aren't as basic in baking preferences as Rich, but I always have to remind myself when presenting him with something that's taken me ages or is super intricate, that he's probably not going to like it because he's a monster. Is it just me? Or does this happen to other people too?

I did however manage to sneak this banana sheet cake with whipped dark chocolate ganache past him the other day. Granted, he did request an american buttercream when I made it for him for his birthday, but at least this one didn't get scraped off (I don't know what's wrong with him, honestly, because the ganache is the best part). Banana cake is a huge favourite around our house, probably because it's just banana bread in a different form. 

The cake itself is super super easy, and all I have done is fancied it up a little with a whipped dark chocolate ganache. The ganache is dark and rich, and balances the sweet, moist cake. Feel free to add a different buttercream to this (Rich recommends a double batch of this one, but a dark chocolate swiss meringue situation would also be amazing), but I do encourage you to give the ganache a go. It's worth it. 

A few wee tips:

  • The Ganache does need some time to firm up in the fridge - you want to give it a little time on the bench first to reduce the condensation when you put on the plastic wrap. I like to let it firm up, stirring occasionally, until it is thick and fudgy, and then whip it - It usually needs about half an hour on the bench and then another 60-90 minutes in the fridge. 
  • If you have another mixing bowl that would be great for this, alternatively I like to get the cake in the oven, and then wash out my mixer bowl, and make the ganache directly in it, so when it comes time to whip it, it's already in the right bowl.
  • If you let your ganache sit a little too long and it gets too firm, then as you are whipping it, take a little out, heat up in the microwave until soft and slightly warm, then add to the cold mixture. Mix it in, and repeat if needed to make the ganache the right consistency. 
 

 

Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache

- Makes one 9" x 13" cake, serves about 12-18 people depending on slice size -

Banana Cake
250g (2 1/4 sticks/8.8oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g (1 3/4 cups) sugar
4 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp (8grams) baking soda
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
500g (4 cups) All-purpose flour
2 tsp (8 grams) baking powder

Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache
600g good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
400g heavy cream
pinch salt

Chocolate Pearls and flaky sea salt to finish, optional

- PROCESS -

BANANA CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350f/180c. Grease a 9" x 13" pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add bananas and beat until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, ensuring bowl is well scraped down and mixture is well combined. 

Heat milk in the microwave, or a small pan until boiling. Add baking soda to milk, and add to the mix, mixing until well combined. 

Sift flour and baking powder, and add to the mixture. Mix briefly until just combined. Scrape into the prepared pan, and bake 30-45 minutes until lightly golden, and a tester inserted in the middle of a cake comes out clean. If you don't mind the cake being a little more dense, you can also place a clean tea towel over the cake soon after it comes out of the oven and press down gently to help lessen the dome. Allow to cool completely. 

 

WHIPPED CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Place the chocolate in the bowl of a stand mixer or heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small pan, and place over low heat until just boiling. Pour over the chopped chocolate, add the salt, then cover the bowl with a plate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let the ganache sit on the counter for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then carefully cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge, and leave for 60-90 minutes, checking occasionally, until a scoopable consistency. Place the mixing bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until whipped.

ASSEMBLY

Dump the ganache onto the cooled cake, spread with an offset spatula, and sprinkle with chocolate pearls and flaky sea salt. Slice into squares to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container. 

Banana Sheet Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. A little bit fancy but perfect for a crowd, this banana sheet cake will be your secret dessert weapon! #bananacake #sheetcake #chocolateganache #chocolatefrosting

Chocolate Snack Cake with Chocolate Buttercream


 
Chocolate Snack Cake with Chocolate Buttercream - the perfect cake recipe to have in your back pocket. Tender chocolate cake topped with fluffy chocolate buttercream #chocolatecake #snackcake
Chocolate Snack Cake with Chocolate Buttercream - the perfect cake recipe to have in your back pocket. Tender chocolate cake topped with fluffy chocolate buttercream #chocolatecake #snackcake
Chocolate Snack Cake with Chocolate Buttercream - the perfect cake recipe to have in your back pocket. Tender chocolate cake topped with fluffy chocolate buttercream #chocolatecake #snackcake
Chocolate Snack Cake with Chocolate Buttercream - the perfect cake recipe to have in your back pocket. Tender chocolate cake topped with fluffy chocolate buttercream #chocolatecake #snackcake
Chocolate Snack Cake with Chocolate Buttercream - the perfect cake recipe to have in your back pocket. Tender chocolate cake topped with fluffy chocolate buttercream #chocolatecake #snackcake
Chocolate Snack Cake with Chocolate Buttercream - the perfect cake recipe to have in your back pocket. Tender chocolate cake topped with fluffy chocolate buttercream #chocolatecake #snackcake
Chocolate Snack Cake with Chocolate Buttercream - the perfect cake recipe to have in your back pocket. Tender chocolate cake topped with fluffy chocolate buttercream #chocolatecake #snackcake
Chocolate Snack Cake with Chocolate Buttercream - the perfect cake recipe to have in your back pocket. Tender chocolate cake topped with fluffy chocolate buttercream #chocolatecake #snackcake

Damn, it's been a week. We have been crazy busy working on some new things for the studio - this week we shot our new chair AND launched it all in the same week. Oye. The shoot on Tuesday was so, so much fun - we had a professional photographer in, but I decided it would be fun to see what I could shoot as well, and was surprisingly impressed with what I ended up with! I was super nervous going into it because it wasn't food and there was a model involved, but we made a super detailed mood board, and it was so nice to have something to go off - I think I need to do that more! You can see it all here - have a peep at the chair too. I'm obsessed with it, and can't wait to have a house where we can actually fit one! Lol. 

I made this a few weeks ago and haven't gotten around to sharing it - it is the chocolate cake from my friend Melissa's new Book, The Minimalist Kitchen. The book, like Melissa's blog, is amazingly beautiful, and between recipes, is also filled with tips on how to have a minimalist kitchen. There are all sorts of little tips and tricks in there - I need to take notes, because I am a chronic purchaser of one-use pans and weird sized packets of specialty ingredients, which do not mix well with small shoebox kitchens. 

This cake is super simple but also amazingly delicious - a single layer of cake, loaded up with a dreamy chocolate buttercream. As someone who over commits to making cakes on the regular, usually going with multi-layered, multi-component towers, making something which didn't involve stacking or crumb coating was super fun, and just as yum as a multi layer extravaganza! Melissa makes hers into a round cake, but I chose to make a square, because i've been cracking up over the name "snack cake" ever since I realised it was an actual thing and not a joke name Americans use, so I was desperate to make my own, just so I could call it a snack cake! 

The cake comes together super quickly, and has a very tender crumb. It is then loaded up with a fluffy chocolate buttercream, which reminds me so much of the cakes we used to have for our birthdays as kids, and is one of Richard's fave things ever. The cake got destroyed in about 10 minutes flat when I took it to the studio, and has firmly cemented it's place in my list of back pocket recipes. It would be perfect to make for a bbq, or a small birthday - you can decorate it however you like, and it will always be a crowd pleaser. 

Congrats Melissa, the book is beautiful! 

A few wee tips:

  • Melissa recommends making this in an 8 inch round tin, but I only wanted to frost the top, so I popped it in an 8 inch square and added all the frosting on the top rather than smoothing it down.
  • This would make a perfect layer cake - just double the recipe and bake in two 8 inch tins
  • Melissa adds pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and shredded coconut on the edges, but I couldn't help but add sprinkles. 
  • If you're used to making big cakes like I am this will seem like not very much mixture - at least it did to me. Don't worry - it makes the perfect amount! 
  • A quick note: I have made this into a layer cake and it worked perfectly! I doubled the cake recipe, and baked it in 3 x 6" tins. You can either double or triple the buttercream recipe if you're making a layer cake.
 

 

Chocolate Snack Cake with Chocolate Buttercream 

- Makes one 8 inch cake -

Cake Batter
Neutral Oil Cooking Spray
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (105g), plus more for the pan
1/4 cup (35g) unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp aluminium free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (60g) whole milk
1/4 cup (60g) heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 Tbsp (90g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Chocolate Buttercream
6 Tbsp (90g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt

Garnishes to finish : Coconut, pumpkin seeds and cacao nibs, or sprinkles of your choice

 

- PROCESS -

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Lightly spray the interior sides of an 8 inch round or square pan with cooking spray. Use a paper towel to wipe smooth. Add a spoonful of flour and shake around the edges to lightly coat. Discard extra flour. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper cut to size. Set aside. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 

In a liquid measuring cup, measure the milk, cream, and vanilla. Set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on the lowest speed for 3-5 minutes. (This will feel odd.) When ready, the butter mixture will begin sticking to the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition; mix until completely combined. 

With the mixer speed still on low, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients in three additions each. This should take 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then beat again on medium-high for 5 seconds to develop the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a light finger poke to the top bounces back and a crumb of chocolate remains on a toothpick. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before running a thin knife around the edge. Transfer to a cooling rack.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add all of the buttercream ingredients. Beat on low to incorporate. Once combined, beat on high until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. The frosting will be pale in colour but will deepen as it rests. 

ASSEMBLY

If you are frosting a round cake: Add about two-thirds of the frosting to the top of the cake. Using a spatula, spread the remaining frosting snugly around the sides of the cake, letting the sides of the cake show. Spinning the cake in a circular motion with your spatula pressing down gently in the centre, pull the frosting flat, allowing it to pool at the edges. Pull the spatula around the outside edges once more to connect the sides and top. Lightly sprinkle with garnishes. 

Alternatively, add all the icing to the top of the cake. Spread out with an offset spatula, creating swoops. Add garnishes. 

This cake is best after a 2-hour rest. Store covered at room temp for up to 3 days. 

Chocolate Snack Cake with Chocolate Buttercream - the perfect cake recipe to have in your back pocket. Tender chocolate cake topped with fluffy chocolate buttercream #chocolatecake #snackcake

This recipe was reprinted with permission from The Minimalist Kitchen, ©2018 Melissa Coleman. The Minimalist Kitchen was published by Oxmoor House, 2018