Monday, July 22, 2013

Celebration Chocolate Potato Cake: Robin Berry

Today I welcome Robin Berry with her family recipe for Celebration Chocolate Potato Cake. Robin Berry is a 3rd generation Californian and native San Franciscan. When not arbitrating securities and banking cases, you can usually find her reenacting various centuries; embroidering or cooking her way through time.

Robin Berry:
This recipe has been used to celebrate birthdays and special events for 3 generations and possibly longer. The original recipe lacks some information like quantities of ingredients, but over the years here is what was finally written down.

Chocolate Potato Cake

Ingredients
2 cubes butter (unsalted)
2 cups sugar 4 eggs – see further instructions
1 cup mashed potatoes (as in peel, cut into chunks, boil until soft, drain, usually Russets)
1/2 cup cocoa (Ghiradelli’s semi sweet ground)
1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
1/2 teaspoon cloves ground
1/2 teaspoon allspice ground
2 cups cake flour (measure before sifting)
2 teaspoons baking powder ½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup broken nut meats (walnut usually)

Directions
Sift dry ingredients together.
Cream butter & sugar. Add egg yolks 1 at a time. Add potatoes.
Add sifted dry ingredients alternating with milk.
Add in vanilla and nuts. Fold in beaten egg whites.

Bake in a large (10”) funnel pan that has been greased and floured.
Bake 1 hour 15 - 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Toothpick test for doneness.
Turn out onto rack to cool. Ice when cool.

Icing
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar sifted
2 Tablespoons hot water or coffee
1 whole egg
2 Tablespoons butter (scant)
dash of salt (if using unsalted butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt chocolate with butter. Add hot water, sugar (1/2 c. at a time) and whole egg.
Beat by hand until smooth. Add vanilla. If too thick add a little coffee to thin. If too thick add powdered sugar. You want it to want to drip from the spreader but not too easily. Use immediately!

I like to ice as follows using a rounded end table knife since you want to add the icing about 2-3 T at a time. Top first, smoothing as you go to about ¼”. Then sides from top down. Then the center hole. Lastly use the remaining icing to add another layer to the top. This icing is very smooth and shiny. Swirls may or may not stay as the icing sets.

This cake is very rich and slices well. I usually serve slices that are 1-1/4” thick. Serves about 20. Enjoy!

2 comments:

Pilingas said...

It sounds weird when talking about chocolate and potatoes, something unusual, but in the picture it looks great and I guess it has a great taste :)

janmaus said...

My mother made a recipe similar to this which she acquired sometime in the middle 1950s. I think it was an American adaptation of a French recipe that used chestnut puree. I looked around the internet, and although I found a lot of uncooked chocolate/chestnut puree deserts, didn't see the one I was thinking of. In any case, the potatoes make the cake moist and intensify the chocolate flavor. It is absolutely delicious!