For dessert?

I think almost every food blog out there has a post on brownies. I’ve tried out a number of different recipes using a variety of ingredients, even using beets (really good recipe, stay tuned for future post). While most recipes call for butter, I often substitute oil. There is a difference of course and it depends on what texture, feel and taste you’re looking for.
Now, this may seem strange, but I use olive oil. There is a debate about using olive oil in baking as it has a strong flavour, but my philosophy is that using several strong flavours can work really well and prevent any one taste from overwhelming the palate. So if you plan on using olive oil in baking, simply also use spices and/or more grainy tasting flour. Of course, olive oil isn’t the best choice for all recipes – for example, in my carrot cake recipe I used neutral tasting canola oil – but it does complement certain flavours.
For these brownies I added toasted hazelnuts and one teaspoon of cayenne powder – another ingredient I love. The little bit of heat imparted by the chili paired well with the rich dark chocolate and the crunchy hazelnuts. The tastes reminded me of nutella (but more like a nutella party in your mouth). I also happened to have some leftover strawberries and decided to make a compote to go with the brownies.
Compotes sound complicated but they are basically made either by macerating fruits in sugar and liquid (alcohol/water) or by cooking gently until thick and syrupy (that’s all I did!). I whipped some fresh cream and folded in some compote. Try it out and I promise you won’t be able to eat just one.
olive oil brownies
makes 15 pieces
adapted from a recipe posted on spoonfulblog

100g dark chocolate (I used 85%)
1/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
2 organic eggs
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk (can use any type)
1/2 cup organic plain flour
1/4 sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C/350 degrees F
Prepare the tin - I greased a rectangular pan and lined it with baking paper

To melt the chocolate: place bowl of chocolate over pot of simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water). Once melted, remove from heat and add olive oil - mix and leave aside to cool.
Next, toast hazelnuts in oven for 5-6 minutes, take out and remove skins. Chop roughly and leave aside.

For the brownies: beat sugar and eggs together until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes), add in vanilla extract and milk and fold in cooled chocolate mixture.  In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt and cayenne powder. Fold in dry ingredients to wet ingredients and then fold in chopped hazelnuts.

The batter should be thick and not too wet. Place batter into prepared tin and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove and cut into squares. You can keep in fridge up to one week. Enjoy.


  1. So you're saying that thanks to the olive oil, these brownies are actually incredibly healthy?! Thank god for that...

    I've been looking for some tasty treats to give to family at Christmas. I may give these a go. And gorgeous photos!

  2. Thanks! and yes, these brownies are full of dark chocolatey antioxidant goodness. Let me know how they turn out...

  3. I've wondered about baking with olive oil. I think it would compliment dark chocolate well. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Gorgeous! The photos and I'm sure the brownies too!

  5. What a beautiful recipe! I happen to love baking with olive oil, though I've never seen it done with brownies. This is definitely on for my bookmarks!
    *kisses* HH

  6. Could you tell me what size of tin you used?

  7. Thanks for the great comments everyone!

    Naomi - I used a 20 x 30cm tin but using a square 20cm tin would produce a thicker brownie (mine turned out a little thin) - good luck!

  8. What a beautiful blog and beautiful post. I'm posting a brownie recipe tomorrow in my blog and am searching for other brownie recipes to link to. I'm linking to you! This looks amazing.

  9. I got here from Da's, and have to say I'm glad I did. Love your beautiful blog, and this recipe too. I am inspired to bake more with olive oil. I've done brownies with olive oil a while ago; maybe it's time I tried again! Have a great day!

  10. Thanks for the link Damaris - looking forward to reading that post!

    Good luck with the baking everyone!

  11. What a gorgeous blog!!! Your photos are lovely...and I always love a new brownie recipe~

  12. Thanks for the kind words Lizzy - you should definitely try making these ones!