Chocolate Cake with Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb / 225g butter
  • 2 1/3 cups / 1 pound / 450g / caster or granulated sugar (superfine works best if you have it handy)
  • 4 eggs
  • 9 rounded tablespoons grated chocolate (approximately 3 standard squares of baking chocolate, or 90 grams / 3 1/2 ounces of other chocolate)
  • 5 rounded tablespoons / 50g / 1 3/4 ounces ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup / 5 ounces / 150g of cold, sieved or riced cooked potato (see below for specific directions about the potato)
  • 2 1/2 cups / 10 ounces / 300g flour (plain flour is fine, but cake flour is better if you have it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 rounded teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup / 5 fluid ounces / UK 1/4 pint / 150ml milk

For preparing the pan you’ll bake in:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa

 

Directions:

First prepare your cake pan. A tube pan like a Bundt pan works best for this recipe: but a springform cake pan works fine too.

  1. If using a tube pan or Bundt pan, butter it well inside, paying particular attention to any flutings or crevices in the pan. Then mix the flour and cocoa together and use this mixture to flour the inside of the pan.
  2. If using a springform pan, butter it too: then line it with a circle of buttered baking parchment for the bottom and a strip of buttered baking parchment for the sides.

 

Now prepare your cooked potato by one of these two methods:

  • Boil in unsalted water 2 medium-sized potatoes or 3 small potatoes in their jackets, then drain, cool completely, peel, and rice or sieve.
  • Or if you prefer, peel and chunk 2 medium-sized potatoes or 3 small potatoes, boil for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Drain them, dry them briefly over low heat until most of the steam has stopped rising, then remove from heat and mash well, ricing or sieving when fully cooled.
  • An important note about the potatoes: Do not add them to the batter if they are even slightly warm. If you do, the result will be a heavy cake that may fail to rise, or only rise partway. Also: We have never tried this cake with instant mashed potatoes. Better to play it safe and use the real thing.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F / 275° C. Then prepare the cake batter:

 

3.   Grate the chocolate on a fine grater, or pulse in a food processor, or crush with a mortar and pestle, until reduced to small granules. (The food processor is by far the easiest and fastest way: the grater and mortar-and-pestle are more labor intensive, but produce a slightly finer result.

4.When this is done, sift the flour once by itself. Then sift it a second time with the cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

5. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.

6. Separate the eggs. Add the yolks, one at a time, to the creamed mixture, beating well after each one.

7. Stir in the grated chocolate, ground almonds and cocoa. Add the sieved potato and stir again.

8. Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating gently until smooth after each addition.

9. When this process is complete, whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the whipped egg whites carefully into the cake mixture.

10. Spoon into the prepared springform pan or Bundt pan / tube pan: tap gently once on the counter to settle. Bake for 1 3/4 hours. Test for doneness with a toothpick or skewer at the end of this time: bake for another 15 minutes if needed.

11. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for at least twenty minutes before removing from the pan: then cool on a rack.

12. To finish, frost the chocolate cake with a chocolate-based icing, or (if you prefer the simple approach) dust with confectioners’ sugar / icing sugar.

* For those who’re interested, Butlers Irish Chocolates are available in the US from this online source.

Irish Stew

Recipe courtesy of Giana Ferguson

Yield: 6 Servings

Irish Stew

Click here to see a video demonstration by Tyler Florence. 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
  • Oil, for frying
  • 1 -ounce butter
  • 1 sprig dried thyme
  • 2 1/2 pounds best end of lamb neck, cut into large pieces
  • 7 carrots, chopped lengthways into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pearl barley
  • 5 cups chicken stock, recipe follows
  • Salt (recommended: Fleur du Sel)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, and bay leaf)
  • 12 medium potatoes
  • 1 bunch parsley, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 bunch chives

Serving Suggestion: Herb Butter*

Directions:

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook the onions in oil and butter, on medium-high heat until they are translucent. Add the dried thyme and stir. Add the lamb and brown on a high heat to seal in juices. Add carrots, and pearl barley. Pour in the chicken stock so that it almost covers the meat and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, and add Bouquet garni. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours, being careful not to boil. Place potatoes on top of the stew, cover and cook for 30 minutes until the meat is falling beautifully off the bones and the potatoes are fork tender.
  2. Serve the stew in large flat soup bowls, and drizzle herb butter over the potatoes or garnish with parsley and chives.

 

Stock:

  • Chicken carcass
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

  • Preheat the stockpot. Combine ingredients in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Then let it cool down and skim off the fat

 

*Herb Butter:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch chives, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add parsley, chives and thyme.

 

For a video demonstration regarding this recipe, click HERE for the Food Network’s website.

 

Basil Beer Bread

Yield: 1 Loaf
Calories: 336

Basil Beer Bread

Get the Basil Beer Bread recipe on the Real Simple website.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil for the baking sheet
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably ale
  • flour for the work surface
  • 1 cup chopped or torn fresh basil

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 400° F. Oil a baking sheet. In the bowl of a standing mixer on low, or in a large bowl using a spoon, combine the flour, yeast, salt, pepper, and Parmesan.

2. Add the beer and mix just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with the basil and knead gently just until incorporated. Shape the dough into a round loaf and transfer to the prepared sheet.

3. Bake until the loaf is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Turn the loaf onto a wire rack. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Tip: You can also toast this dense, hearty bread and drizzle it with olive oil.

Nutritional Information:
Calories From Fat 8%; Fat 3g; Sat Fat 2g; Cholesterol 3mg; Sodium 977mg; Carbohydrate 63g; Fiber 3g; Sugar 0g; Protein 12g