15 March 2010
Chocolate Potato Cake
It’s already the Ides of March and I’ve hardly given a thought to St. Patrick’s Day. While I have posted about something green as well as greens this month, the Irish influence has definitely been lacking.
To make up for this oversight I woke up this morning determined to make a chocolate cake that would be fitting for the occasion. While the obvious choice for St. Patrick’s Day would be a Whiskey Cake or a Chocolate Stout Cake, I’ve already posted about both. Fast running out of obviously Irish ingredients I reached for a recipe I found years and years ago for a Chocolate Potato Cake.
This recipe makes a 9 X 13 inch cake that I generally serve straight from the pan. The frosting is simple and is the kind that is poured over the top while the cake is still warm. If you have some leftover mashed potatoes (or have instant mashed potatoes on hand) this cake is fairly quick and easy to prepare for a special weeknight meal. I is also easily transported to a potluck, cookout or other festive gathering.
Chocolate Potato Cake
2 cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups sugar
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
¾ cup firmly packed, unseasoned mashed potatoes
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans (if desired)
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
¼ cup milk
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 13x9 inch baking pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, butter and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Lower mixer speed and beat in the melted chocolate and mashed potatoes.
Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients and beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Fold in the pecans, if desired.
Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched in the center and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the Chocolate Frosting:
In a small bowl combine the cocoa powder and Confectioners' sugar. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer gently for 2 minutes.
Pour the milk mixture into the sugar mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
When the cake has cooled 15 minutes, pour the frosting evenly over top. Smooth the surface with a spatula and decorate as desired. Let the cake stand at least 1 hour before cutting into squares.