Friday, 25 July 2008

Irish chocolate cake

This is a cake I made for The Scientist to take on his last role-playing trip. I have been SO good about not baking except when there's a reason, and this time it was one of his friend's 30th birthdays so I went all out with sweetie decorations as well!

I fancied making a nice squishy chocolate cake and found a recipe with a twist in a little book of Irish baking I bought when we were on holiday. So what's Irish about it? Well, it has Irish liqueur in the creamy filling. Not very original you may think - well, ha ha, it has something even more Irish in it as well. You'll have to look at the ingredients to find out what, but the headnotes in the recipe says it makes it particularly moist, and the raw mixture, which was the only bit I tasted, was superlative.

I actually had a small disaster while baking the cake as I had forgotten that we were almost out of butter, so The Scientist had to go on an emergency mission to the local shop - and when he got back I discovered I only had one egg as well. Rather than send him out again I subbed some yogurt for the second egg. The gamers reported no yogurty weirdness, but then they didn't spot the surprise extra ingredient either so I doubt their gourmet discernment over appreciation of chocolatelyness. On the whole I think I prefer that (especially given my propensity to run out of ingredients and forget things....)

I had fun with this cake because of the frosting and filling. The Scientist was travelling by train which constrained how much decoration I could do, but I created a guard for the cake out of a larger tin which meant he didn't have to carry too much back with him either. The frosting was really velvety and creamy and set just enough to get it there in a reasonably neat state. I decorated it with kiddie sweets - I was going to do a '30' but The Scientist had a crisis of confidence at the last second that it really was a 30th birthday (it was, but it's probably nicer to distribute the sweets more evenly over the cake anyway). It got a good response from the gamers anyway, though as I say, they eat almost anything - and I have yet to quantify the 'almost'!

Irish chocolate cake from A Little Book of Irish Baking
175g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
50g dark chocolate
110g butter
175g caster sugar
80g cooked mashed potato [there you go!]
2 eggs. beaten
4 tbsp milk

110g dark chocolate
125ml double cream
50g icing sugar
3 tbsp Irish cream liqueur

Preheat oven to Gas 5/190C/375F and grease and line two 20cm/8 inch cake tins

Soft flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Melt chocolate. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy, then beat in the chocolate and mashed potato. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little flour with each addition. Fold in the rest of the flour and stir in the milk. Divide the micture between cake tins and bake for 25-30 mins or until the top is firm but springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and after a few minutes, turn out onto a cooling rack.

While the cakes are cooling, make the filling. Melt the chocolate, stir in the other ingredients and mix well. Use the filling to sandwich the cakes together and coat the top and sides of the cake.


Johanna said...

looks like a pleasantly indulgent frosting and I love the addition of mashed potato as an additional irish ingredient!

I have a chocolate potato cake recipe that I made when I was young for my brothers and sisters - I remember their horror when I told them it had mashed potato in it once they had enjoyed a piece!

Ilana said...

how funny! mashed potato cake!

Lysy said...

Funnily enough I didn't tell The Scientist about the mystery ingredient in advance either in case it put them off! I spoiled the surprise when he got back by blurting out 'did you like the potato cake?' though!

LisaRene said...

I do believe this is the first time I have ever seen potatoes in a cake recipe! I'm sure the potatoes make the cake extra moist and tender, it's actually a great addition. I hope he brought a piece back for you to try.

Lysy said...

I'm told it was very nice and moist, but did I get a piece? Did I heck! I'll have to try it again another time.