Olive oil chocolate first made the headlines in 2,000 when French chocolatier L’Espérantine de Marseille’s olive oil chocolate won the coveted Cordon Bleu award at the INTERSUC conference in Paris.
The good news for olive oil and chocolate lovers is that, not only a number of chocolate manufacturers have followed suit and gone on to launch olive oil chocolate, but new research has shown that dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil improved cardiovascular risk profile in participants.
Scientists at the European Society of Cardiology recently identified two key ingredients—dark chocolate and extra virgin olive oil—as having a powerful effect on the heart health of volunteer subjects, all of whom had some form of cardiovascular risk, such as smoking, hypertension, or family history.
We’re celebrating the good news by sharing these three indulgent chocolate and olive oil recipes, using three different styles of award winning olive oil from local producers:
- Olive Oil & Sea Salt Brownie Cookies
1/2 cup intense style olive oil (Suggested: Morgenster Don Carlo EVOO)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the olive oil and sugar and mix until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each one. Add the cocoa powder, flour, and salt and beat until a dough forms – it should be the consistency of a thick brownie batter. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda into the hot water. Add dissolved baking soda and vanilla and beat until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Refrigerate the batter for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to scoop out heaping tablespoons onto your prepared baking sheets and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are set. Let cool completely on the baking sheets then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse
200g good quality bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
2 tablespoons Armagnac or Cognac
2 tablespoons very strong brewed coffee or espresso
4 large eggs, separated
½ cup delicate style olive oil (Suggested: Willow Creek Nuy Valley EVOO)
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of sea salt Melt the chocolate, liquor, and coffee together in the top of a double boiler. Once melted, add the pinch of salt and remove from the heat. Stir the egg yolks in one at a time then add the olive oil using a hand held mixer or wooden spoon. Start whipping the egg whites and when they begin to stiffen add the sugar. Whip to stiff peaks. Fold the beaten egg whites into the chocolate a quarter at a time, thoroughly amalgamating in between additions until all the whites have been folded in. Spoon the mixture into 6 to 8 individual ramekins or one large bowl, whatever you plan to serve it in.
- Dark Chocolate Cake with Blood Orange Olive Oil
3/4 cup Willow Creek Blood Orange Olive Oil, plus more for greasing the pan
1/2 cup (50g) good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (120ml) boiling water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups (165g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (195g) superfine sugar
3 large eggs
Cyprus flake salt
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon dried rose petals
1/2 cup (65g) chopped unsalted pistachios
Cyprus flake salt
Preheat the oven to 325ºF (165ºC). Grease a 9-inch (23cm) springform baking pan with a little olive oil and line the base with parchment paper cut to fit. Sift the cocoa into a medium bowl and whisk in the boiling water until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla, then set aside to cool slightly. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar, olive oil, and eggs until you have a light, fluffy cream, about 3 minutes. Turn the speed on the mixer down and pour in the cocoa and vanilla mixture. Slowly add the flour mixture until it is evenly incorporated, stopping the mixer and scraping down the bowl as necessary. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sides are set and the top of the cake still looks slightly moist. A cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean or with just a few crumbs on it. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
While the cake is baking, in a chilled metal or glass bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add the cardamom and beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Run a knife around the edge of the cake and release the sides of the pan. Transfer the cake to a serving plate or cake stand. Sprinkle with more flaky salt. Serve each slice with a dollop of the cardamom cream and a sprinkling of rose petals, pistachios, and flaky salt.