Gwydir Grove Oils began in Moree in 1996. Doctor Google tells me Margi Kirkby and Jenni Birch bought a second-hand olive press and harvested all the local olive trees they could find. They began selling the oil in local shops under the name Gwydir Grove. The name remains synonymous with Australia’s leading premium olive oils. Margi and Jenni grow, press, blend and market the brand with the same passion and commitment they began with 13 years ago. That’s a pretty inspiring story!
I came across these lovely ladies and their oils at a recent food and wine festival. Until then, I admit to being an olive oil snob preferring my infused or flavoured oils to originate from Italy. Gwydir grove specialises in 3 distinct oil varietals.
Agrumato oils – (the Italian word meaning ‘with citrus”) created in the traditional method by processing the fresh citrus fruits and the fresh olives together. The citrus oil is extracted from the skin of the fruit at the same time as the oil is extracted from the olive.
Fusion oils – crush fresh produce and olives together to extract the oil from both fruits and then blend just enough to add intensity.
Infusd oils – essence or oil added to the olive oil after processing.
So far, I have equal favourites of the Agrumato range – the Zesty Lemon and the Blood Orange. I placed an online order just last week and was pleased to receive a bonus of a few extra bottles. Very kind and generous.
And this is just awesome.
Blood Orange Chocolate Almond Cake (Gluten Free)
240g almond meal
½ cup Gwydir Grove Blood Orange Olive Oil
180g good quality dark chocolate
1 cup caster sugar
5 eggs (separated)
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease and line the base of a 24cm round cake tin.
Toast the almond meal in the oven on an oven tray for about 3 minutes or until a pale golden. Remove and leave to cool.
Place chocolate, Blood Orange Olive Oil and sugar into a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; whisk occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks and gradually pour them into the cooled chocolate mixture, whisking all the time until combined. Add the cooled almond meal and combine.
Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until soft white peaks are formed. Fold the egg white mix into the chocolate mixture; a little at a time.
Pour the chocolate mixture into cake tin and cook for about 35 minutes or until the centre is firm and springs back when pressed lightly.
Cool in tin on a cake rack then loosen it around the edges.
Sometimes, I will dress this with a ganache to give it some extra elegance, especially if it’s a birthday cake or similar. If you do this, try adding a few drops of orange oil to your ganache right at the end (or it may split).
If you make this, I’d love to know what you think. There’s just something about the combination of orange and chocolate together. So good.