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Chocolate Potato Cake with “Irish Potato Candy” Frosting
From am 1800s recipe: rich, moist and yummy, with a new-fashioned Irish-American frosting

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Chocolate Potato Cake with “Irish Potato Candy” Frosting

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1 cup / 0.5 lb / 225g Butter Softened
.75 cup / 50g / 1.75 ounces Almonds - ground
2.33 cups / 1 lb / 450g Granulated sugar Superfine if you can get it
2.5 cups / 350g All-purpose flour
1 cup / 150g Potatoes - riced or mashed COLD
4 Large eggs - separated
90 g / 3.5 ounces / approx 9 rounded tablespoons Chocolate - unsweetened or baking Grated
3 tablespoons Cocoa
0.5 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 rounded / heaped teaspoons Baking powder
1 cup Milk
For the baking pan
1 tablespoon Cocoa
2 tablespoons All-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Butter
For the frostng
1 cup / 250g Cream cheese
/ 110g Butter
450 g Confectioners' / icing sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
For dusting Cinnamon

    Riced potatoes make this cake unusually tender and moist. Two kinds of chocolate make for a dark flavor and luxurious mouthfeel

    • Medium


    • For the baking pan

    • For the frostng



    In Maura Laverty’s tremendous 1960’s collection of traditional Irish recipes, Full and Plenty, this recipe comes with only one word of description: Rich. Our recipe is adapted from Laverty’s, which dates back to the 1800s — when chocolate started becoming a commonplace in Irish cooking and baking. See our background article here for more info.

    The original recipe is unusual in specifically calling for grated chocolate rather than cocoa. Our adaptation  contains cocoa as well, which makes  for a more chocolate-y colored cake at-casinos.com. The two-chocolate approach also makes for a richer, denser chocolate cake with a moist, substantial mouthfeel. While regular baker’s chocolate works fine in this, if you’re into designer chocolates and you want to exploit the flavor of one of them in a cake, you should enjoy the results.

    “Irish potato candy” doesn’t come from Ireland. It’s a favorite Irish-American candy apparently invented in the Philadelphia area. Normally it’s made with cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar, which are molded into tiny potato shapes and rolled in cinnamon or cocoa. Our frosting uses the candy’s basic ingredients; the top of the finished, frosted cake is dusted with cocoa to complete the look.

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    Prepare the cake pan

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

    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.

    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.


    Prepare the cooked potato

    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

    Preheat the oven to 350° F / 275° C.


    Making the cake batter

    Then prepare the cake batter:

    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.)

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

    Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.

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

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

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

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    (We're adding the words "bunt cake" and "bunt pan" here to help people find this recipe, since some people do spell it that way.)


    I write for a living. But food is one of my favorite hobbies... learning about it, cooking it, eating it!

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