Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Chocolate and Aubergine Cake
I don't know if anyone else has noticed but cakes incorporating vegetables seem to be in vogue all of a sudden, even Matthew Wright ate a courgette cup cake on The Wright Stuff the other day. We're all familiar with carrot cake and even beetroot and chocolate cake, but Harry Eastwood's book 'Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache' takes the vegetable cake to a new level.
She uses a huge range of veg, aubergine, parsnip even potato and turnip. I've only tried 2 recipes so far but what I'm quite impressed with the subtly and sophistication of her cakes. I was expecting endless variations of carrot cake, ie fairly chunky crumbed, wholemeal, spicy doorstops but her Chocolate Chip Cupcakes and Heartache Chocolate cake couldn't be more different. Dense, squidgy and intensely chocolaty, you'd never guess the moist texture was down to microwaved aubergine.
My only slight complaint is her rather irritating habit of personifying her recipes, for example Heartache Chocolate Cake (the aubergine one) is "...sad. It's dark and drizzling down the window panes. She puffs her chest in hope when she goes into the oven; she then breaks, like a chest heaving a sob" Am I the only one rolling my eyes and muttering "it's a cake for God's sake"? Maybe that makes me an old curmudgeon with a soul as bitter as a kumquat. Who knows?
Heartache Chocolate Cake
300g good dark chocolate
50g cocoa powder
60 ground almonds
3 medium eggs
200g clear honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp brandy
Pre-heat the oven to gm4/180C/350F. Line a 23cm, 7cm deep, cake tin with baking parchment and oil lightly. Stab the aubergine a few times, put in a covered bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. When it's cool enough to handle, slip the skin off and blend to a puree. Mix the chocolate into the aubergine and leave while the heat melts the chocolate.
Meanwhile whisk all the other ingredients together, then mix in the chocolate and aubergine. The recipe says bake for 30 mins but this seems to be quite variable. Rachel said hers was over cooked after 30 mins but mine was still squidgy after 50 mins so keep checking and take it out when it still quakes a little in the middle.
Leave to cool in the tin for 15 mins or so and then turn out and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!