While preparing for a recent trip to Italy, I wanted to play around with some Italian-inspired dishes, particularly Italian-inspired desserts. Cue these Chocolate Olive Oil Miniature Cakes. I took Maialino's Olive Oil Cake recipe and added my own, chocolatey flare because, honestly, what isn't better with chocolate? By taking a portion of the flour and replacing it with cocoa powder and adding in some vanilla paste and coffee, the beautifully tender, earthy flavors of Maialino's Olive Oil Cake are amplified and elevated to an entirely new level. —Emily
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat each cup of a muffin tin with butter and, using 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, dust thoroughly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and remaining 1/2 cup of cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, emulsify the eggs and olive oil by carefully whisking the eggs and streaming in the olive oil simultaneously. Whisk in the vanilla paste, milk, and coffee to the egg-oil mixture. Slowly, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine. The batter should be thin with few to no clumps.
Pour the batter into the buttered and cocoa powdered muffin tin cups, about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The cakes are done when the tops are slightly glossy and domed and a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer the muffin tin to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
Run a dull knife or offset spatula around the edges of the muffin tin cups, invert the cakes onto the rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.