Grumpy Cooking: Chocolate Olive Oil Cake & Pesto Pasta

I did some major grumpy baking/cooking today.  On the menu, chocolate olive-oil cake and pesto pasta with basil from the organic garden.

Even though I couldn’t stand Nigella as a food show personality, I’ve been eyeing Nigella’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake recipe for some time because it looked both easy and delicious.  I tend to romanticize the outcome of a recipe on first try, which usually leads to disappointment, but this recipe came out as great as I had imagined.  Just a few everyday ingredients and you have the perfect everyday-cake.  It’s tender, moist, and subtly sweet.  Even without a spring-form pan, the cake pulled away nicely from the edge of my silicon pan leaving a perfectly round and easy to serve cake.  Bravo Nigella!

However you will need a baking scale since the recipe is in metric.  

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For dinner, I attempted my first fresh pesto which also came out amazingly good.

I took a standard pesto recipe but instead of pine nuts I used cashews, which I toasted lightly before processing.  I also used a blend of parmesan and romano cheese which resulted in a less punchy pesto which I prefer since sometimes pesto can feel very abrasive.  Toss in some whole wheat pasta, petite peas, mozzarella, and roasted tomatoes and voila.  The most delicious and hearty non-meat dinner ever.

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I can’t wait to keep practicing these recipes until I get them down pat and can whip them up at a moment’s notice.

And I still can’t believe how well these recipes went considering these were my first attempts.  Perhaps the key to successful cooking is being in a terrible mood…

For Nigella’s Olive Oil Cake recipe see here.  (she also has the conversion to make it gluten free!)

And for my Cashew-Pesto Pasta recipe see here.  Enjoy!

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