Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Mashed potato chocolate cake

There are cakes I dream of making again.  Cakes from long ago.  Cake I still remember with delight.  Take for instance a cake I made soon after leaving school.  A mashed potato chocolate cake.  It made my siblings shudder in horror.  That amused me.  I found that the mashed potato gave it a lovely soft texture.  These days I make many fancier cakes.  Yet I have dreamt of this cake for age.  It should be the cake that stands tall and proud in a photo rather than falling flat on its face.  However it seems fate has a sense of humour too.

Earlier this week we had a lovely dinner of spaghetti squash, veg spag bol sauce, steamed broccoli and mashed potato.  It reminded me of the meals my mum used to serve us as kids.  High on comfort.  I made lots of mashed potato.  It seemed the perfect time to bake the mashed potato cake.  So yesterday while our paintings were still drying, I got out my old Women's Weekly cookbook.

The cake is made in a 20 cm ring tin.  I don't use my ring tin often these days.  It got more outings years ago when I had less variety of cake tins.  I might have bought this cake tin many years ago but I have a feeling my mum just found it in her kitchen and gave it to me.

The icing was runnier than it looks on the photo in the cookbook.  Perhaps it was because I used margarine or couldn't be bothered washing the electric beaters to make the icing.  We decorated the cake with M and Ms.  My sister won a year's supply of M and Ms recently so all the family has been rolling in them.  Well, almost!  My brother-in-law says he would have needed far more M and Ms than she got to have a year's worth.  Sylvia loved decorating the cake.

Then I had a great idea to put the plate on a cake stand and photograph it outside.  I put the cake by the table and propped it up because the table was on a lean.  Suddenly the table lurched.  It knocked the cake.  The cake flew threw the air and landed wrong side down.  Sylvia and I laughed hysterically.  Then she screamed when she realised that it was on the ground.  I picked up the car crash cake, took a photo and ate a slice.  It tasted so good.

Last night Sylvia and I drove down to Geelong for dinner for my nephew's birthday dinner.  We took him some cake.  I mentioned to my sisters that the cake had mashed potato in it.  They shuddered.  Seems my family's tastes haven't moved on as much as I thought it had.  Ironic really, given that the cake reminded me of my mum's chocolate cake.  I didn't mention the mashed potato to my brother.  Thought it best not to. 

Meanwhile Sylvia thought I was joking when I first said that I was adding mashed potato to a cake.  It didn't take me long to convince her.  And my mashed potato only had carbs, margarine and salt.  Nothing you wouldn't usually put in a cake.  I thought pepper might be a bit too much for Sylvia.  Luckily she is more open minded than most of my family.  (Well she does see lots of different dishes even if she rejects most of them.) 

Today we got back from a day of craft with her friends at the Immigration Museum.  It was really cold and windy.  We were tired.  That cake tasted so good.  I think we were both sad to finish it.  E got home and asked if there was any left.  Nope and the rest of the mashed potato went into potato scones.  I must make that cake again soon.

I am sending this cake to No Waste Food Challenge - hosted by Anne's Kitchen and coordinated by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Turtles and Pikelets - with gf buckwheat option
Two years ago: Sam Stern's Lancashire Burgers
Three years ago: Cookie wands
Four years ago: Falafel for E, Pizza for Sylvia
Five years ago: Slideshows, Nostalgia and Hedgehog
Six years ago: Curious Chipotles and Bonza Burritos
Seven years ago: PPN#19: You say tuna, I say tempeh!

Mashed potato chocolate cake
From Australian Women's Weekly Cakes and Slices Cookbook

125g butter (I used margarine)
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup mashed potato
1 1/4 cup self raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup milk (I used soy)

Frosting:
90g softened butter (I used margarine)
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 heaped tbsp cocoa
1-2 tbsp milk (I used soy)

Grease and line a 20cm ring tin.  Preheat oven to 180 C.  Cream butter and sugar (I used electric beaters), then beat in eggs one at a time.  Fold in mashed potato, cocoa, 1/2 cup flour and half of the milk.  Fold in remaining flour and milk.  Evenly spoon mixture into prepared tin and smooth on top.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly.  Rest 5 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting cream the butter, beat in the icing sugar, cocoa and 1 tbsp of milk to make a spreadable mixture.  Add extra tbsp of milk if required.  I did this by hand but electric beaters are best to get a creamy icing.  Spread icing over cooled cake.  [Decorate if desired.]

On the Stereo:
The Weavers at Home: The Weavers

23 comments:

  1. Having added all sorts of vegetables to cakes over the years, I have often thought about a mashed potato cake - as you say, it is quite logical when you think about the usual cake ingredients and potato as a carbohydrate source! I loved seeing your one and hearing about your older version that showed you were well ahead of the veg in desserts game ;)

    I am intrigued by the idea of a year's worth of M&Ms. How much do they consider to be appropriate?! I am worried the answer may reveal my chocolate consumption to be as high as above average as I think it is...

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    1. Thanks Kari - I love adding vegies to cakes - I think people often turn up their noses at adding unusual ingredients but if you think about the function they serve, it isn't so odd. I think my sister got 1 packet of M&Ms for each week but will need to check.

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    2. If it's a big packet I would say that could just about count...but if it's a small 55g one I am way off their estimates! Mind you, M&Ms wouldn't be my chocolate of choice for a year so I'll use that as an excuse for eating more than they deem average ;)

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    3. Am sure you eat a better quality of chocolate and are very healthy with all those antioxidants

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  2. Mashed potato? Who would have thought it! The cake looks so light x

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    1. Thanks Deena - I have a few mashed potato recipes - potato scones and boston bun, bread and pizza dough - it is a great ingredient

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  3. I'm glad the cake survived the fall- looks delicious! I've been wanting to make sweet potato brownies for ages. I love pumpkin in baked goods, so why not sweet potato!

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    1. Thanks Kate - I made sweet potato brownies last year and loved them - I was surprised that a few people could pick it

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  4. Heh I'm also curious about how many M&Ms constitute a year's worth! Love the cake decoration and the inclusion of mashed potato!

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    1. Thanks Veagnopoulous - sylvia loved helping to decorate the cake - I managed to stop her just dumping a handful of M&Ms on the top and to actually place them on the icing. I think it is one packet of M&Ms per week for a year's supply but need to check

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  5. I recently make a lemon cake with mashed potato and wondered if a choc version would work too. Great to see it does. Such a pretty cake in the ring shape, you can't really tell it was dropped on the floor. We use pumpkin and sweet potato in cakes all the time so mashed potato seems great to me :)

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    1. Thanks Katie - I was annoyed I dropped the cake as it looked better than a lot I had blogged - I have a lemon cake with mashed potato bookmarked - am interested in it partly because I love this chocolate mashed potato cake.

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  6. I think this cake sounds and looks great!! I am fascinated by the use of mashed potato - I made a lemon mashed potato cake earlier this year and it was good.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - mashed potato is so strange and interesting how it changes texture - when serving it with dinner I prefer it fresh as I find it is less fluffy the next day. The lemon mashed potato cake is on my to do list

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  7. I have so many Women's Weekly cookbooks but I don't think I have one with mashed potato in a cake. I'm becoming aware that there are so many vegetables that can be added to cakes. Your cake looks so cute with all the smarties and what a lovely school holiday project xx

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    1. Thanks charlie - the cookbook I have is one I have had probably since before I left home so it is an oldie but a goodie. This cake is from a section on vegetables in cakes and all of them look great.

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  8. What a brilliant cake. And I am now determined to make it vegan and candida-friendly! I haven't had chocolate cake (well, ANY cake) is soooo long! And chocolate with chocolate frosting is my true favorite. Hilarious that it fell on the ground! Glad it could be salvaged, though. :) (And I'm also curious--how much IS a year's worth of M&M's? They probably would need a tractor trailer to deliver a year's worth to me!).

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    1. Thanks Ricki - we couldn't stop laughing when it fell on the ground - probably because otherwise I'd have cried. I am sure you could make it vegan and ACD - I have seen a few gf mashed potato cakes - good luck with making it your own recipe as I know you will. I still need to check with my sister about the M&Ms.

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  9. haha - 10 second rule ;-)
    Love adding vegetables to cake and other unexpecting items! :-)

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    1. Thanks Sandy - vegies are great in cakes and so it is 10 second rule :-)

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  10. I can't bake to save my life... I normally avoid it at all costs. But you have me so darned intrigued that I'm dying to try making this now ;p
    Love this idea and your cake is adorable!

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  11. Thank you so much for entering this month’s No Waste Food Challenge – your chocolate cake looks delicious, definitely not that its been accidentally dropped in the process! I have used mash in welsh cakes and dairy free cake frosting, its a great ingredient!

    Anne’s Kitchen

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  12. Oh now Johanna, I live in fear of turning my iced cake upside down on the ground. I've been wanting to make a chocolate mashed potato cake for such a long time, but it aways seems a bit of a faff mashing potatoes or I never have the right kind in the house. I had a slice of one in a cafe recently and I was so enamoured the owner gave me the recipe - come autumn / winter I shall make that cake!

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