Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Nordic-Style Chocolate Potato Cake

I think the Nordic food rage is still raging, so I have tried another recipe from The New Nordic by Simon Bajada.  This one is a chocolate and potato cake; unlike my fave Belinda Jeffery version which only has 60g. of raw, grated potato, this one has 400g. of cooked and mashed veg.  Phew!  Talk about interesting. 

I have long been a fan of vegetables in cakes; witness my attempt at a choc/zucchini cake when I was a poor student living in a share house.  I didn't have a car, and the shops were not close, so I "borrowed" a cup of extra virgin olive oil from a house mate. Little did I know how expensive it was (for a poor student like him-or me), and how far he had ridden on his push-bike to get it.  Ooooh, he was not a happy camper.

Serves 6-8:


400g. of potatoes, unpeeled

2 very large eggs (I used 66g. eggs - jumbo)

70g. caster sugar

1 tsp baking powder

100g. butter, softened plus extra for greasing the cake tin

4 tbs good quality bitter cocoa powder

25g. breadcrumbs for the cake tin - I zapped some wholemeal bread

2 tbs icing sugar to decorate

200 mls whipping cream to decorate


Boil or steam the potatoes till tender (10-15 mins), then cool slightly, peel and mash, and put in the fridge to cool!

Place the eggs, caster sugar, baking powder and butter in a large mixing bowl

Whisk for 5 minutes - I used a whisk but you could try electric handbeaters I reckon

Add the cocoa powder and whisk for another minute

Now add the mashed potato and fold in very gently just till the potato disappears into the batter - careful not to overmix or it will get gluggy

Grease a 20 cm tin with butter then tip the breadcrumbs around, and discard the excess

Spoon the thick batter into the tin, and smooth over

Bake at 150C for 35 minutes till a skewer comes out of the middle clean

Let it sit for 10 mins. in the tin to cool

Serve with icing sugar and lots of whipped cream


Use a ricer to mash the potatoes if possible; you need this to be very smooth and lump-free

I would suggest adding more sugar than Simon says; perhaps 100-120g. rather than 70g.

Simon says to use unsalted butter but I like the saltiness it gives to the cake

Don't worry if the batter looks curdled after whisking; once the cocoa goes on, it comes together

I found the breadcrumbs gave the cake a slightly odd taste and texture; perhaps use almond meal or just flour after greasing

throw any leftover breadcrumbs in the freezer for next time

ingredients gathered

peel the cooked potatoes

whisk the ingredients together sans cocoa 

mash about to go into the chocolatey batter  

thick and gloopy batter but that's okay  

ready for baking @ 150C for 35 mins.  

I threw some chocolate over the top as well as spreading Macabella paste under the cream     

To be brutally honest, I would not make this cake again.  Not without a lot of tweaks. Our guests - I will call them The Dudes Family - said it was "not bad".  The birthday dude said it needed heaps more sugar.  To me, it tasted like potatoey chocolate.  Mr P. said it was okay, and he couldn't taste the veg. part.  I think it needs less potato, more sugar and lots of chocolate ganache dripping over the side.  I did spread some Macabella over the top to add a more chocolate/sweet taste under that thick layer of cream.

This is not a bad cake; it just isn't a great cake and I wonder if the author had actually done much taste testing.  I think it is meant to be a bit savoury and a bit unusual; he says it is in the Nordic style rather than a true Nordic recipe.  Give it a go and see what you think.:=) 

my baby potato doodle  


  1. Doesn't sound very Nordic. Much more in the Celtic vein.

    1. It's a bit weird to be honest but "not bad". I often find that established cooks with lots of cookbooks out still have some crappy recipes. And then you have say the women's weekly cook books that are always reliable and easy Makes you wonder how much they test and taste before publishing.

    2. You are so right about the 'famous' chefs and cookbooks. I sometimes wonder whether they have made the dishes at all or whether their cook slaves create the recipes and books and the chef just looks and nods. Nigella is notoriously full or errors too. There used to be a website which has since been archived. I discovered it when I was trying to make some muffins that didn't appear to have enough liquid. It may be archived but I still have the link... http://web.archive.org/web/20080715060643/http://www.nigella.com/news/detail.asp?article=1890&area=2

    3. thanks for that link. interesting what you say about nigella's recipes. i have made many many of them over the years and never had a problem. unlike other cooks - annabel langbein for instance. i made one of her cakes and it is was a really annoying amount of batter. too much for one cake tin but not enough for 2. and it was such a large amount, it didn't even fit into my very large food processor when i whizzed it up. not very practical...

  2. Ahhh I was intrigued until you said what you thought of it. I might give it a miss but thank you for trying it on our behalf Sherry! :D

    1. i was thinking you would probably do a better job of it than me lorraine! give it a try.:)

  3. Hi Sherry, never heard of anything like this before, great post.

    1. thanks cheri. it was very very interesting to try this:)

  4. It looks great but I think you're probably right about it needing less potato. 400g is a lot!


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