Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake – We Should Cocoa #41

Large Cakes, We Should Cocoa | 23rd January 2014 | By

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake

A friend recently passed on a recipe for me to chocolatify. He reckoned that not only was this cake unusual, with its inclusion of Jerusalem artichokes, but it was also possibly the best cake he’d ever made. I was intrigued. At this time of year we have no problem getting hold of this particular root vegetable as it grows, almost of its own volition, down on our plot. I adore the taste of artichokes, but do find them a real pain to clean, so I don’t use them as often as I probably should. The cake includes roasted hazelnuts and I could see how well these would work with the nutty flavour found in artichokes.

I had planned to follow the recipe as written, apart from adding chocolate and using my usual half wholemeal, half white flour mix of course, but things went a little awry.  I didn’t have any raisins for a start, so had to substitute sultanas. But mostly, I didn’t read the recipe carefully enough. I ended up using a different method entirely and added all of the sugar (50g more than I should have) to the cake rather than reserving some of it for the icing – oops! I also didn’t think I needed to peel the artichokes, which I scrubbed well cutting out any bad bits.

Some time before Christmas, I was sent three lovely bags of Cacao Barry chocolate drops. This is a new range of high quality couverture chocolate they have introduced. It uses a new fermentation method which purportedly gives a more intense taste. The Q-Fermentation TM method uses natural ferments found in the plants and soil of the plantation which is said to give a purer bean with a fuller flavour. I’m looking forward to trying the chocolate out in a few sophisticated recipes where the flavour can shine through. However, I decided as there were so many lovely ingredients in this cake it would be good to use a special chocolate too. From previous experience, I’ve found that milk chocolate chips tend to work better in this type of cake as a very dark chocolate can sometimes take over rather than enhancing. The 41% Alunga milk chocolate seemed ideal. With its strong caramel notes and high cocoa content, I found it hard to stop dipping into the bag as I went along. I’m looking forward to trying the Inaya 65% and Ocoa 70% dark chocolates in due course.

This is how I made:

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake

  • Added 1 tbsp brandy to a bowl filled with 120g sultanas and placed it on the heater to soak in for about an hour.
  • Toasted 80g hazelnuts in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until the nuts had browned a little and the skins had loosened. Left to cool, then rubbed the nuts in a piece of kitchen towel to remove the skins. Chopped roughly.
  • Grated 200g of well scrubbed and trimmed Jerusalem artichokes in food processor.
  • Creamed 150g unsalted butter with 200g soft brown sugar (should have been 150g).
  • Beat in the brandied sultanas.
  • Beat in 3 large eggs, one by one and alternating with a little of the flour.
  • Sieved in 200g flour (half wholemeal, half white), 1 level tsp baking powder, 1 scant tsp bicarbonate of soda, a large pinch of rock salt, 1 tsp cinnamon and a good grating of nutmeg (about 1/2 tsp).
  • Stirred this in lightly together with the nuts and 50g chocolate drops (41% milk).
  • Folded in the artichokes.
  • Scraped mixture into a deep 8″ lined cake tin and baked for about 1 hour at 180Ā°C (recipe stated 30 minutes, but mine was still almost raw at that stage) until well risen, brown and an inserted skewer came out almost clean.
  • Allowed to cook in the tin for 15 minutes, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Beat 180g cream cheese (should have been 200g, but that was all I had) with 40 light brown sugar.
  • Grated in the zest of an organic lemon and squeezed in nearly half of the juice.
  • Beat it all together then slathered over the top of the cake.
  • Shaved some dark chocolate over the top.
Jerusalem Artichoke Cake

I couldn’t have told you there were Jerusalem artichokes in the cake, but wow, I’m sure they added to the overall nuttiness. This cake was truly delicious: chewy, crunchy, moist and abundant. The Alunga buttons left chocolatey hotspots throughout the cake which contributed nicely to the overall richness of taste. The sharp lemony icing offset the additional sugar I added by mistake and the cake, thankfully, wasn’t too sweet at all. It was similar to a carrot cake, only, dare I say it, much nicer.

How can I put this politely? I didn’t notice any, er, unfortunate consequences to eating the Jerusalem Artichokes in this way, so it got a double thumbs up from us.

This is my offering for this month’s We Should Cocoa. Linzi over at Lancashire Food is kindly hosting and has asked us to combine an ingredient we have never used with chocolate before. I was initially going to send over the paprika and cocoa roasted cauliflower that I made earlier in the month, but in the end decided this was a more unusual and worthy entry. I can honestly say, that I have never until now, eaten Jerusalem artichokes and chocolate together.

I am also using this as my entry to Family Foodies over at Bangers & Mash. The theme this month is Hidden Goodies. These artichokes are very well hidden and I suspect few would ever guess as to what the cake contained. This challenge is co-hosted by Lou at Eat Your Veg.

Not only made from scratch, but some of it grown from scratch too, I’m sending this off to Javelin Warrior for his Made with Love Mondays.

As this is the most exciting recipe I’ve posted this week, I’m entering it into Recipe of the Week with Emily of A Mummy Too.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    bangermashchat
    23rd January 2014

    Oh my goodness, what an ingenious idea for a cake. I’d never have thought of using Jerusalem artichokes in sweet baking, such a novel idea. But it looks and sounds delicious. And I’m very pleased to hear there weren’t any of the occasional consequences associated with eating this particular root vegetable šŸ˜‰ Thank you so much for sharing with this month’s Family Foodies challenge. I really look forward to trying it out on my family to see if they can guess the secret ingredient…

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd January 2014

      It’s funny, I would never have thought of it either, but now I’ve tried it, it seems such an obvious vegetable to use.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Shaheen
    23rd January 2014

    Looks lovely Choclette, I can see how Jerusalem Artichokes can work, a little like parsnips I guess. I’m also quite pleased to read there were not any after effects usually associated with this veg! šŸ™‚ I’ve picked up some chokes this w/e, made soup, but still hankering for other ideas.

    PS I had planned to join in with the WSC challenge, but i think unfortunately it is unlikely to happen. I made the chocolate cake with honeycomb, but never took a picture of it. And I don’t really like posting posts without pics šŸ™ so no participation this time round again.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd January 2014

      Yes indeed Shaheen, a bit like parsnips, only with a nuttier tone. Sorry you’re not posting your cake, sounds quite delicious with honeycomb. Photos can be such a pain, especially at this time of year OR if you just want to get on and eat!

  3. Leave a Reply

    belleau kitchen
    23rd January 2014

    what a brilliant idea… the best cake i’ve made recently was my parsnip cake and it stayed moist for ages… this looks glorious and I am so intrigued to try it… very pretty cake xx

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd January 2014

      Parsnip works really well in cakes too I reckon. This is quite similar, but with a nuttier flavour.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Linzi_Barrow
    23rd January 2014

    Nice one and looks fab, I love vegetable cakes but never thought of using artichokes in a cake.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd January 2014

      No, this seems to be a new one for everyone. But I now expect to see artichoke cakes everywhere.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Madeleine Morrow
    23rd January 2014

    The unfortunate consequences made me laugh. I once had such bad consequences that I haven’t eaten them since. Maybe I should take the lunge back into Jerusalem artichoke land with this unusual recipe.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Javelin Warrior
    23rd January 2014

    Very creative use of Jerusalem artichoke, Choclette – and with hazelnuts and chocolate no less! I love the texture of the cake – it looks so moist.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd January 2014

      Thanks JW. The hazelnuts were so delicious and worked really well with the nutty tones of the artichokes. And of course I had to get chocolate in there somehow šŸ˜‰

  7. Leave a Reply

    Hannah Hearsey
    23rd January 2014

    That looks lush. I’d kill for a killer slice of this! Love the inventive use of the humble farty-choke… erm… I mean artichoke…

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd January 2014

      Thanks Hannah. no killing required, you are more than welcome to dig a few roots up from our plot šŸ˜‰

  8. Leave a Reply

    Heidi Roberts
    23rd January 2014

    I have never tried Jerusalem artichokes! Perhaps I should, are they worth growing on the allotment?

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd January 2014

      They are very easy to grown Heidi, but do tend to take over rather. They are perennials, so pretty much look after themselves – they are very tall!

  9. Leave a Reply

    The Kitchenmaid
    23rd January 2014

    Wow! I knew you were going to come up with something amazing, but this err, takes the cake! It’s funny, the first thing I thought about was the ‘unfortunate consequences’ – glad I’m not alone. I wonder if you could try something similar with kumara or sweet potato?

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd January 2014

      I think it’s the first thing anyone thinks of when it comes to this particular vegetable šŸ™‚ I’m sure kumara would work very well. It’s on my list to try.

  10. Leave a Reply

    Lou, Eat Your Veg
    23rd January 2014

    Artichoke in cake is a new one on me too! Shall be pinned to my Veggie Cakes board. I’m betting it added a lovely nutty note, such a great idea. Sounds like a wonderful bake Choclette.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd January 2014

      Thanks Lou. It’s definitely one of my favourite vegetable cakes, although parsnip is very good too.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Katie
    24th January 2014

    Wow what an usual cake. I’ve never heard of using Jerusalem Artichokes in a cake before! Would love to try it

  12. Leave a Reply

    Sylvia F.
    24th January 2014

    Looks lovely! It’s unusual to add artichoke in cake but would love to give it a go šŸ™‚

  13. Leave a Reply

    Deena Kakaya
    24th January 2014

    Wow, this is utterly new to me…artichokes? What do they add to the recipe…like other root veg and colour and sweetness etc, how does it work with te artichoke? Your pic looks fab, looks like an utterly scrumptious cake xx

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      28th January 2014

      Thanks Deena. The Jerusalem artichokes give bulk, make the cake moist with an interesting texture. they also give a slightly sweet and nutty flavour which works really well.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Sarah Trivuncic
    24th January 2014

    You know they never really appealed to me but I would definitely try them in a cake. Don’t think I ever saw them used like this before, excellent idea.

  15. Leave a Reply

    Alison
    24th January 2014

    This looks lovely, would never have thought you could use them in a cake

  16. Leave a Reply

    Tina Anand
    24th January 2014

    Looks delicious. I would never have thought of putting artichokes in a cake, I am intrigued. I would like to get my hands on the Cacoa Berry Chocolate Drops, especially after you described the Alung milk chocolate one having strong caramel notes.

  17. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    24th January 2014

    This looks lovely and I have never thought about using these in a cake, and I should try it soon as they have taken over the whole of the bottom of my garden! Very good idea indeed, and beats the ubiquitous gratin that I always end up making!

  18. Leave a Reply

    Rachel Cotterill
    24th January 2014

    Fascinating! I keep planning to plant some jerusalem artichokes, my parents have both grown them and say they’re very self-sufficient. Wouldn’t have thought of pairing them with chocolate… šŸ™‚

  19. Leave a Reply

    Fiona Maclean
    25th January 2014

    sounds fab. I love jerusalem artichokes…rather too much! I’m not a great baker, but I’ll happily come for tea:)

  20. Leave a Reply

    Jane Sarchet
    25th January 2014

    Looks, and sounds gorgeous. And I would never have thought to put artichoke in a cake!
    Janie x

  21. Leave a Reply

    Baking Addict
    26th January 2014

    This is the most unusual ingredient paired with chocolate that I’ve come across but if anyone can pull it off it’s you! Looks absolutely amazing. I can see why you were holding this back for WSC šŸ™‚

  22. Leave a Reply

    ManjiriK - sliceoffme
    28th January 2014

    What a brilliant cake ! Artichokes in a cake ?! too good !and it looks so moist . I love hazelnuts in any form , am certainly going to try it and smile a secret smile when no one can guess what it was made from hehhee

  23. Leave a Reply

    Jill @ MadAboutMacarons
    28th January 2014

    Fabulous, Choclette! You had me going at the artichokes and toasted hazelnuts – but the chocolate, too? This sounds a really wonderful creation.

  24. Leave a Reply

    AMummyToo
    28th January 2014

    Looks perfect!! Thanks so much for joining in with #recipeoftheweek. I’ve Pinned and Tweeted this post and there’s a fresh linky live now for this week. Hope you can join in if you haven’t already! x

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