I really need to learn to be more patient. And I’m not just talking about trying to get cheese or cake into my face as quickly as possible. I need to learn to be more patient with myself. I recently changed roles at my job to something that I knew would be much more stressful. I was actually looking forward to being really and truly challenged.
Between school holidays and being stuck in the woods last week, this has been my first real, full week on the job. I’ve had about sixty things on my OCD task list every day which means if I wanted to actually do all of them in a single work day, I would only get to spend about 8 minutes on each thing. I’ve been so frustrated with myself for not getting through it all. I’ve beaten myself up because I haven’t known the answer to every single question I’ve been asked. I’m a crazy person.
I need to relax. I need to be patient with myself. I need to allow myself to be a beginner. It doesn’t mean I’m not competent. It doesn’t even mean I’m not a total bad ass. It just means I’m human, and I need to give myself time to learn. Somebody remind me I said this tomorrow when I’m pulling my hair out.
So here’s a little something to help us all slow down a little bit. This cake is gluten-free and dairy-free, but don’t worry. Or I guess, if you’re one of those people who cares about such things, get excited. Either way, this cake tastes awesome. Even after five days in the tin waiting for shy Brits to come along and eat it, it’s still light and moist.
It bakes in a springform pan, so there’s no stress about turning it out, and the most you need to do with it after it cools is dust it with some powdered sugar. To be quite honest, I did it more for visual effect. This cake is perfect just the way it is. Set it next to a strong cup of tea and you have a relaxing, heavenly afternoon ahead of you.
I’m giving myself permission to be a beginner. I’m going to ask questions and streamline my work life, and then I’m going to conquer the world. Along the way, I’m going to eat a lot of cake.
- 50 grams cocoa powder, sifted
- 125 milliliters boiling water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 150 grams ground almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 150 milliliters olive oil
- 200 grams sugar
- 3 eggs
- Preheat your oven to 170 C (350 F) and grease a 9-inch springform pan with some olive oil spray. If you don't have spray, just drizzle a bit in the bottom of the pan and spread it around with a paper towel.
- Sift your cocoa powder into a bowl, then add the water from a just boiled kettle and whisk to combine. Once it's come together in a thin paste, whisk in the vanilla extract then set aside.
- In another small bowl, combine the ground almonds, baking soda, and salt. Set that aside as well.
- In a large mixing bowl, add olive oil, sugar, and eggs, and beat with an electric mixer on medium high for about three minutes or until you create a foamy mixture that is pale in color and has doubled in volume.
- Turn the mixer down to low and add in the cocoa mixture. Be sure you scrape every last bit of chocolaty goodness into the cake batter. Finally add in the almond mixture and mix until just combined.
- With a rubber spatula, give everything one last good scrape and fold, and then pour the batter into your waiting pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Your cake should be springy but possibly still a bit sticky on top. A toothpick should come out mostly clean with perhaps a few sticky crumbs.
- Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the collar of your springform pan. You can serve it warm or allow it to cool. It will keep in an air tight container for at least five days.