I have been over on snapchat sharing recipes a lot lately, and a few people expressed surprise when I shared how I made this chocolate mushroom cake.
NO ONE expected the surprise ingredient to be mushrooms.
And when I asked twitter friends to guess, no one got it right. Which doesn’t really surprise me, given mushrooms are not exactly the first thing one thinks of when one thinks of cake. Especially chocolate cake. Which sort of surprises me given they both have earthy undertones.
There have been a few times over the years when I have eaten mushrooms in a dessert, but I didn’t ever think to add them to a cake until I toured a mushroom farm a few weeks ago.
Our dessert at that fabulous lunch included an incredibly rich and decadent chocolate mocha cake with mushrooms within; and a dense butter cake with honey, mushrooms and walnuts. In neither cake could you taste the mushrooms. And in fact, I would never have known mushrooms were even in the chocolate mocha cake if I hadn’t been told.
This cake came about when I needed to bake a chocolate cake for Mr15’s 16th birthday. He requested chocolate cake. I didn’t have enough eggs for the one I usually make, so I improvised by adding 250g of chopped up mushrooms. They were perfect for adding extra moisture and also for cutting down the amount of butter that is normally in this cake.
Both The Accountant and Mr-now-16 were shocked when I told them the cake had mushrooms.
I’m calling it healthy.
Decadent chocolate mushroom cake
by Mel Kettle, The cook’s notebook
WHAT YOU NEED
- 250 g mushrooms (I used button mushrooms)
- 250 g dark chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)
- 250 g almonds
- 200 g butter
- 150 g brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
- 250 g dark chocolate
- 235 mL pouring cream
WHAT YOU DO
TO MAKE THE CAKE
- Preheat oven to 180c. Grease and line a 24cm springform pan
- In a food processor or Thermomix chop the mushrooms into small pieces (in Thermomix, turbo speed 2-3 times). Set aside.
- In a food processor or Thermomix whizz the chocolate into small pieces about the size of breadcrumbs (in Thermomix, sp8/10 seconds). Set aside.
- In a food processor or Thermomix mill the almonds until they are almond meal (in Thermomix sp10/15 seconds). Set aside.
- Place the butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, cocoa and coffee granules into your food processor or Thermomix. Mix until well combined (sp7, 15 seconds in Thermomix). Scrape down sides and mix for another 5 seconds. Add the mushrooms, chocolate and almond meal and mix again (Thermomix sp8/10 seconds), scrape down and mix again ((Thermomix sp8/10 seconds). You may need to do this a third time, until it’s all mixed well.
- Pour the batter into the springform pan. It will be quite a thick consistency. Bake at 180c for 40-50 minutes. It’s cooked when a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the pan to cool completely before removing it and spreading the ganache.
TO MAKE THE GANACHE
- Measure out the chocolate into a heat proof bowl (I use pyrex). Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat until just boiling. Remove cream and pour into the chocolate, stirring with a whisk or a spoon until all the chocolate has melted and it’s smooth.
- Leave to cool on the bench for about 30 minutes, then place in the fridge to thicken.
- Once the cake has completely cooled, use a palette knife (or a dinner knife if that’s all you have) to spread the ganache over the cake.
- Serve with thickened cream.
What about you? Do you add vegetables to cake? Other than carrot cake? Have you ever eaten mushrooms in a cake?