- ¾ cup natural (skin on) almonds, walnuts or toasted and peeled hazelnuts
- 1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped orange zest
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 large whole eggs
- 2 large egg whites
- ¾ cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Glaze
- 3.5 ounces semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup sliced natural almonds, lightly toasted
- Orange zest, optional garnish (remove thin strips with bar zester)
- Orange liqueur flavored whipped heavy cream (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of flour and tap out excess.
- Place the almonds, orange zest and 2 tablespoons of the sugar (from the 1 cup) in a food processor and process until very finely chopped. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the ground almond mixture to the flour mixture until blended and set aside.
- Combine the whole eggs and egg whites in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium high until frothy. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, scrapping down the bowl from time to time, until the mixture is thick and pale in color, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer on its lowest speed add the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil in a slow steady stream, almost a dribble. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the orange juice and vanilla; gently stir with a rubber spatula until blended.
- In three or four additions gently fold the flour and almond mixture into the egg yolk mixture until blended. The batter will deflate slightly. Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and the center is feels set when pressed lightly with a fingertip, about 30 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack.
- Loosen the sides of the cake from the pan with a knife or small spatula. Remove the sides of the pan and cool the cake on a rack. When cooled slide the cake onto a serving plate.