Friday, June 22, 2012

Moist Chocolate Farmhouse Cake

"You have to believe in yourself, that's the secret. Even when I was in the orphanage, when I was roaming the street trying to find enough to eat, even then I thought of myself as the greatest actor in the world."

Charlie Chaplin

1889-1977, Comic Actor

This is a delicious, moist cake with a wonderful texture and great chocolate flavor. With a secret ingredient! It comes from a book called, "One Potato Two Potato." Guess what that ingredient is.

You're probably thinking, this is a chocolate cake recipe, what the heck.

Potatoes, of course. I actually don't own the book. But I do own a book called, "Best of the Best, The Best Recipes From the 25 Best Cookbooks of the Year". By Food and Wine. So dang, that book was one of the best of 2002! The 16 Amazon reviews agree.

Potatoes going through a ricer

The potatoes ensures moistness in the cake, they say. By golly I think they're right! Potatoes in bread is nothing new, it replaces part of the flour in many bread and roll recipes, to provide lightness.

Chopping chocolate

One of my favorite dinner roll recipes called, Amish dinner rolls, provided by King Arthur Flour, calls for mashed potatoes.  And those rolls are delicious, light and fluffy.

The batter is really silky and luscious (mine is bright yellow because I have free range chickens that produce bright orange yolks, if you use grocery store eggs your batter won't be so bright, FYI.

This cake isn't particularly light like the rolls, but it has an excellent texture. Moist, but with a lightness, not dense at all. But rich, but not too much so. I imagine all of those eggs helps with that.

I measured the batter to make sure it would fit my pan

The cake isn't too sweet either. With 2 cups of sugar, it doesn't seem like that would be true, but since the chocolate is unsweetened, that sugar makes up for the missing sugar in the chocolate.

Ready for the oven

Another thing I like about this cake is that it can easily be made dairy free by substituting shortening or non dairy margarine for the butter. So those that cannot consume dairy can enjoy it.

Right out of the oven, heavenly smells abound

Another positive aspect of this cake is that most cakes I make call for sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk, so it was nice to produce a moist cake without needing their help Since I don't always have dairy in the fridge.

So I guess potatoes + cake = Success!


Crystal Cake Plate, Hand painted Pink Teacup and Pretty Pink Napkins, available at my Etsy Shop, House of Lucien.

Moist Chocolate Farmhouse Cake

Makes a 10 inch tube cake, or a bit under 8 cups (liquid) (almost 2,000 ml.) of batter. So if you use another type of pan, like a bundt pan you can check to make sure it will fit. Or you could make small bundts, but take note that the cooking time will be different if you do.

adapted from the book, "One Potato Two Potato" Roy Finamore and Molly Stevens


3/4 pound (340 g.) all purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Cocoa powder for dusting pans

5 oz. (142 g.) Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped

2 Tablespoons honey

1/2 cup (118 ml.) boiling water

1 3/4  cup (175 g.) all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) (113 g.) unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup (55 g.) vegetable shortening

2 cups (400 g.) sugar

5 eggs at room temperature

3 tsp. vanilla extract

powdered sugar for dusting cake - optional


Cook the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water at least by an inch, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain well and put the potatoes through a ricer and measure out 1 cup. (167 g.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 180 degrees Celsius, or Gas Mark 4.

Grease a 10 inch tube pan generously with shortening or butter, and dust it with cocoa powder.

Put the chopped chocolate and honey in a small saucepan (or a microwave safe bowl) and pour the 1/2 cup (118 ml) boiling water over it. Stir it, and let it melt. Set aside for now.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl, set aside.

Cut the butter into chunks and place in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until light. Add the shortening and beat it again until combined and light. Pour in the sugar and beat until the mixture is very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one and beat after every addition. Add the vanilla.

Check the chocolate. At this point my chocolate wasn't completely melted no matter how much I stirred it, so I put it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so. So do what you have to (put it on the stove, or microwave it) to make sure the chocolate mixture is melted and smooth, but not too hot or it will melt the butter, if it's hot to the touch put it in the fridge for a few minutes, until it is about room temperature. Then add the chocolate mixture to the batter. Mix well. Now add the potatoes, beat again and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper.

Add half of the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated, then add 1/2 cup (118 ml.) cold water, and mix again. Now add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix again, just until it's all incorporated.

Scrape the bowl into the prepared pan. Shake the pan and tap it lightly on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles.

Bake the cake until a skewer stuck in the middle comes out clean, about 50 minutes. (Mine took about 62 minutes.)

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan by taking a long knife and run it between the cake and the inside of the pan, to loosen the cake from the pan. Turn the cake out of the pan and flip it right side up and let it cool.

If you want dust the cake generously with powdered sugar before serving.

Save any leftovers in an airtight container. It should stay moist for 3 days. Of freeze any leftovers by double wrapping them well in plastic wrap then in a plastic baggie.


Alecia @ ChickenScratch NY said...

This looks delicious! I've never made a potato cake before, don't have a ricer, any other way to make this?

I'd love for you to kink this up at my party

The Alchemist said...

Hi Alecia - I don't know. You could try mashing them well, but I don't know what the results will be. Please feel free to experiment with my recipes.

I've linked up to your party, thanks for the invite!

Winnie said...

The cake looks wonderful!
I make chocolate cake with potato starch during Passover, but I've never used mashed potato.
I'm saving this recipe as I just have to try it!
Thanks for sharing this

Annie said...

Your cake looks so yummy!

Clare said...

Potatoes? Potatoes! Woah, that just blew my mind! Looks delicious too! :)

Savannah said...

This looks delicious. I was going to surprise the family with it, tonight but I am out of unsweetened chocolate. Thanks for sharing.

Recipes We Love said...

looks delish... i have never used potatoes...

Carole said...

this looks great. I found it via the It's a Keeper link up. I have linked in a beef dish.
Have a lovely day.

Ps I have got a link up going on chocolate today - so if you felt like linking this in that would be super

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious!

Diane Balch said...

Looking at your pictures I am tasting how light and moist this cake is.. please share it on my foodie friday party today.

Unknown said...

Can you make this into layer cakes with frosting? I wanted to have a mocha flavor, so I am looking to add some coffee to it as well. Any suggestions? Thanks!

The Alchemist said...

Vyjayanthi Govindarajan -

Yes, you can make this into a layer cake. If you want to make it with a coffee flavor, I would suggest using my chocolate cupcake recipe and make that into a cake. It has coffee in it already, although you can't taste it. I would add some powdered instant espresso to it to give it a coffee flavor.

Here's that recipe, The Best Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe