Sunday, November 4, 2018

Chocolate Mashed Potato Cake

This lovely Bundt cake is made with an unusually moist and tender ingredient: potatoes! Buttermilk, butter and melted chocolate up the flavour even more.

Since we're in between Thanksgivings here in North America (Canada's was back at the beginning of October) I thought I'd share a couple ways to make use of the one thing we always have leftovers of - mashed potatoes. We don't eat a lot of potatoes in my family day-to-day - most often time determines pasta is the starch of choice - but on special occasions we can be guaranteed to mash up a good couple of pounds of them. Not all the potatoes we mash are used right away, some we pack away for the next day where we twice bake them mixed with cheese and herbs (yum). However, this past Thanksgiving saw the beginning of a period of much personal craziness in our lives so the potatoes found themselves in the freezer.

Apparently, mashed potatoes are supposed to freeze fine. Well, say what you like internet sources, but what I thawed out was not the pillowy plain goodness I was hoping for. However, the potatoes still had a double use, for breakfast and dessert. Since dessert comes first, so does this cake! I found the basic recipe on Food52, and while I kept the ingredients (mostly) the same I reverted to the traditional cream - dry - wet - dry method of mixing rather than the reverse creaming in the original. Making sure to beat the batter smooth with electric beaters (I'm not strong enough with just a spatula) was crucial for the texture, which was velvety and moist without being damp like some other cakes can be. In fact, it was flavourful and rich enough to serve without adornment (although a dusting of icing sugar or a drizzle of chocolate (or cherry) sauce wouldn't be out of place) and disappeared in the staff room, even when the school is filled with all us sickies!

Chocolate Mashed Potato Cake
Serves 16
4 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used 70%)
4 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 cup mashed potatoes (unseasoned, without milk or butter), hot
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup cake flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tbsp baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
  1. Heat the oven to 350F and grease a large Bundt pan.
  2. In a pot or in the microwave, melt together the chocolate and butter, stirring well until melted. 
  3. Add chocolate mixture to the mashed potatoes in a large bowl, beating well with electric beaters. 
  4. Add vanilla, espresso powder, eggs, salt and sugar, beating well.
  5. Whisk together the flours and baking soda in a separate bowl.
  6. Add in half the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk, and finally the remaining flour, mixing well after each addition. Beat until smooth.
  7. Pour into the pan and bake 60 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed lightly.
  8. Let cool completely in the pan before turning out and serving.

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