We are familiar with cakes made with vegetables like carrot and zucchini. However, have you ever heard of potato cake?
We Islanders like our spuds, there is no doubt about it. Potatoes are a very versatile vegetable and can be prepared and served in many different ways but have you ever heard of having them for dessert? Well, combine potatoes with chocolate and some light spice seasoning and you have a really tasty cake.
What follows is my creation of a recipe for chocolate potato cake. This is a fairly dense-textured cake so don’t look for it to have the same “foggy” and fluffy texture of a typical chocolate cake mix out of a box! Despite the two cups of sugar in the recipe, it is not overly or sickeningly sweet. The potatoes are cooked and mashed really well before adding them to the cake batter. It is important that they be lump-free as, otherwise, you will have lumps in the cake batter. The mashed potatoes should be warm when added to the batter.
You may find two or three of the ingredients different in this cake recipe. For example, I have added a pinch of cayenne pepper because I find it enhances the depth of the chocolate flavor. The key, of course, is not to overdo it – if you add too much, there will be excessive “heat” in the cake….just a pinch is all it takes. The addition of the espresso powder is also another good way to draw out the flavor of the cocoa and lend a mocha flavor to the cake. I have quite a collection of balsamic vinegars from our local Liquid Gold store here in Charlottetown. One of them is the dark chocolate balsamic vinegar which is delicious when simmered on the stove, reduced down, and drizzled over ice cream. If you have never tried a good quality balsamic vinegar reduction in this way, you are missing out on a delectable treat. I added 1/2 tbsp of this balsamic vinegar to the chocolate cake batter. This is a chocolate all-the-way cake!
I recommend baking this cake in a 10″ tube or bundt cake pan. These pans have a hollow tube in the center of the pan and this allows dense-batter cakes to rise and bake more evenly. There is also less chance of the cake falling in the middle or the outsides of the cake baking too quickly and drying out before the centre of the cake is baked.
The key to making this cake is not to overbake it. Start checking it at about the 40-45-minute baking point. If a cake tester does not come out clean at that point, continue to bake it but check it every 4-5 minutes. If it overbakes, it will be dry.
Chocolate Potato Cake
2½ cups flour
¼ tsp salt
2¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
⅔ cup cocoa
¾ cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup warm mashed potatoes
½ cup milk
1½ tsp espresso powder dissolved in ⅓ cup hot water
2 tbsp Swiss Chocolate Almond Liqueur (or your favorite coffee liqueur)
½ tbsp dark chocolate balsamic vinegar (optional, but good)
1½ tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line bottom of 10” tube pan with parchment paper. Grease or spray cooking oil on sides of pan.
Sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, and cocoa. Set aside.
In separate bowl, combine the brown and white sugars.
In bowl of stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy (2-3 mins on medium-high speed).
Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well to incorporate after each addition.
Add the mashed potatoes and beat on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes until batter is smooth.
Add the coffee, liqueur, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla to the milk to make 1 cup of liquid. (Note – if you choose not to add the liqueur and/or balsamic vinegar, replace them with milk so that the liquid measurement equals 1 cup.)
Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the liquid ingredients, starting and ending with the flour mixture (process is three additions of dry ingredients to two of liquid), mixing well after each addition.
Scrape sides of bowl with spatula as necessary to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared tube pan.
Bake for apx. 40-55 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean and the cake springs back to a light touch. Do not overbake or cake will be dry.
Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Ice with your favorite frosting.
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