Recipe created by Alice Medrich especially for California Olive Ranch
- 6 Tbsp. natural (non-alkalized) cocoa powder
- 6 Tbsp. sugar
- ¼ tsp finely ground black pepper (optional)
- 4 Tbsp. water
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/8 tsp. salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cold eggs
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold milk
- Finely grated zest of half of a medium orange
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 10-12 cup bundt pan or line two 6-cup loaf pans with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa, sugar, black pepper, and water until well blended. Set aside.
- Mix thoroughly and then sift the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large mixer bowl (with the whisk attachment), beat sugar, oil, vanilla, and salt until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until the mixture is thick and pale, 3-5 minutes. Stop the mixer and add one-third of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed, scraping the bowl as necessary, just until incorporated.
- Add half of the milk and beat just until it is blended. Repeat with another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and then the remaining flour.
- Measure and stir 2 cups of the batter into the cocoa mixture. Stir the orange zest into the plain batter. Pour 1/3 of the orange batter into the tube pan (or divide it between the loaves) and top with 1/3 of the chocolate batter. Repeat, ending with the remaining chocolate batter on top.
- Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes for either the tube pan or the loaves. Cool the cake in the pan(s) on a rack for about 15 minutes. Slide a skewer around the tube then slide a thin knife around the sides of the pan(s) to release the cake(s). Invert the pans and invert again, setting the cake right side up on a rack to cool completely.