Mashed Potato Chocolate Cake
Tips: Over the years, Ive seen a lot of chocolate
cake recipes using unusual ingredients, such as beets, sauerkraut,
and cola drinks. It has never seemed necessary to me to use any
of those in a cake. But I was looking for a cake recipe for this
month that would be good for a picnic or barbeque, something that
didnt need frosting and could be left in the pan after baking,
and I remembered that years ago I had once developed a chocolate
cake that used mashed potatoes. Its not as peculiar a concept
as you might think; the potatoes add body and help to keep the cake
moist without adding any flavor of their own.
If you are going to start from scratch here and boil the potatoes
yourself (thats my preference), its important to note
that you dont want to add any salt to the water in which the
potatoes are boiled, or any milk, butter, salt, or anything else
to the mashed potatoes. Also, you must either use a potato ricer/food
mill to mash them, or mash them and then sieve them. If you do not,
and just use a regular masher, the potatoes will have small lumps,
and the resulting cake will not be pleasant. If you think all of
that is too much like work, this cake can also be made using instant
mashed potatoes--again, however, make them only with water, and
do not add any butter, milk, or salt.
This cake is not too sweet and quite chocolatey. If you want to
dress it up, sift on a bit of confectioners sugar just before
serving. It keeps well at room temperature, tightly covered, for
a few days, and it freezes beautifully, too. Great for a take
along dessert for any informal occasion.
- 1 cup hot, unseasoned mashed potatoes (no lumps!)
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
- Optional: 2 tsp. instant coffee granules
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- Optional: 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs, graded large
Optional for serving:
Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease
a 13 by 9 inch baking pan, at least 1-1/2 inches deep, with solid
vegetable shortening. Lightly flour the pan, knocking out any excess
flour; set aside.
Place mashed potatoes into medium bowl. With small whisk, gradually
stir in water to form a smooth mixture; do not beat mixture excessively.
Cool to lukewarm.
Meanwhile, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, optional
coffee granules, baking soda, and salt. If using the miniature chocolate
chips, place them in a small bowl with about 1 Tbsp. of the sifted
dry ingredients and stir well until chips are coated. Set aside.
In large bowl of electric mixer (fitted with paddle beater, if
available) combine butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat at a low speed
to blend, then beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping down bowl
and beater(s) with rubber spatula once or twice. Add eggs, 2 at
a time, beating in at a low speed until blended. Scrape bowl and
beater(s) with rubber spatula. Increase mixer speed to medium; beat
At lowest speed, add sifted dry ingredients in 3 additions and
mashed potato-water mixture in two additions, beginning and ending
with dry ingredients and beating after each addition just until
blended. Scrape bowl and beater(s) occasionally with rubber spatula.
Batter may still appear curdled after all ingredients have been
added--OK. Remove bowl from mixer.
If using the chips, add them now, along with any remaining sifted
dry ingredients in the bowl. Fold in with rubber spatula only until
Turn batter into prepared pan. Spread level, making sure batter
is well-pushed into corners, then run batter slightly higher along
pan edges and in corners.
Bake in preheated oven 27 to 32 minutes, turning pan back-to-front
once about halfway during baking. Cake is done when toothpick inserted
near center emerges with a few moist crumbs still clinging to it.
Do not overbake! Remove to cooling rack.
During baking, cake center will rise higher than edges, but center
will fall slightly as cake cools. Cool completely before serving.
If desired, sift confectioners sugar over top just before
serving. Store at room temperature, covered airtight, for up to
3 days; freeze for longer storage.
Yield: 12 to 16 servings
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