Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake – We Should Cocoa #41

Vegetable cakes are nothing new. They’ve been popular for a very long time now. But have you ever tried a Jerusalem artichoke cake? It’s chewy, crunchy, moist and abundant with a very pleasing nuttiness. A sharp lemony cream cheese icing sets it off beautifully.

A friend recently passed on a recipe for me to chocolatify. He reckoned that not only was this cake unusual, but it was also possibly the best cake he’d ever made. I was intrigued by the inclusion of Jerusalem artichokes and immediately took up the challenge. 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 also 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 artichokes which have nutty notes of their own.

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

Initially, I’d planned to follow the recipe as written. Well 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 and ended up using a different method entirely. I also didn’t think I needed to peel the artichokes, which I scrubbed well and cut out the bad bits. I was right, they do not need peeling.

Jerusalem artichoke cake prior to icing.

If I didn’t know better, I wouldn’t have known 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 cream cheese icing offset the sugar, although, thankfully, it wasn’t too sweet at all. It was actually quite similar to a carrot cake, only, dare I say it, much nicer.

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake

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.

Cacao Barry Chocolate Drops

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.

Cacao Barry Chocolate

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.

Other Sweet Vegetable Bakes You Might Like

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Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this Jerusalem artichoke cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

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Jerusalem Artichoke Cake. PIN IT.

Slice of Jerusalem artichoke cake with lemon cream cheese icing.

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake – The Recipe

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5 from 1 vote

Jerusalem Artichoke Cake

A chewy, crunchy, moist and abundant vegetable cake with a very pleasing nuttiness. A sharp lemony cream cheese icing sets it off beautifully.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Soaking Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cake, cream cheese, jerusalem artichokes, lemons, sultanas, vegetable cake
Servings: 10 slices

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 120 g sultanas
  • 80 g hazelnuts
  • 200 g Jerusalem artichokes - scrubbed & trimmed
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200 g flour - half wholemeal, half plain
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • large pinch of sea or rock salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • good grating of nutmeg - about ½ tsp
  • 50 g milk chocolate drops - 41% cocoa

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 180 g cream cheese
  • 40 g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 organic lemon
  • dark chocolate shavings (optional)

Instructions

Cake

  • Soak the sultanas in the brandy in covered bowl for at least one hour. But soak for longer if you can - overnight is ideal.
  • Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until the nuts brown a little and the skins loosen. Leave to cool, then rub the nuts in a piece of kitchen towel to remove the skins. Roughly chop the clean hazelnuts.
  • Grate the Jerusalem artichokes. A food processor is probably best for this.
  • Cream the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the brandied sultanas.
  • Beat in the eggs, one by one, alternating with a little of the flour.
  • Sieve in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices.
  • Stir this in lightly together with the nuts and chocolate.
  • Fold in the artichokes.
  • Scrape the mixture into a deep 20 cm (8") lined cake tin and bake for about 50 minutes at 180°C until well risen, brown and an inserted skewer came out almost clean.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • Beat the cream cheese and sugar together.
  • Grate in the lemon zest and squeez in nearly half of the juice.
  • Beat it all together then slather over the top of the cooled cake.
  • Shave some dark chocolate over the top to decorate, if liked.

Sharing

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

Not only is this Jerusalem artichoke cake made from scratch, but some of it is grown from scratch too. So I’m sending it 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.

42 Comments

  1. bangermashchat

    23rd January 2014 at 10:41 am

    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 😉 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…

    Reply
    • Choclette

      23rd January 2014 at 9:32 pm

      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.

      Reply
  2. Shaheen

    23rd January 2014 at 12:47 pm

    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! 🙂 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 🙁 so no participation this time round again.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      23rd January 2014 at 9:34 pm

      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!

      Reply
  3. belleau kitchen

    23rd January 2014 at 4:46 pm

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      23rd January 2014 at 9:36 pm

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

      Reply
  4. Linzi_Barrow

    23rd January 2014 at 5:46 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      23rd January 2014 at 9:37 pm

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

      Reply
  5. Madeleine Morrow

    23rd January 2014 at 6:12 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      23rd January 2014 at 9:38 pm

      This recipe might be a good test case for you Madeleine 😉

      Reply
  6. Javelin Warrior

    23rd January 2014 at 6:26 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      23rd January 2014 at 9:39 pm

      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 😉

      Reply
  7. Nayna Kanabar

    23rd January 2014 at 6:41 pm

    This is very innovative with artichoke and I am sure it tastes fab.

    Reply
  8. Hannah Hearsey

    23rd January 2014 at 7:39 pm

    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…

    Reply
    • Choclette

      23rd January 2014 at 9:26 pm

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

      Reply
  9. Heidi Roberts

    23rd January 2014 at 8:44 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      23rd January 2014 at 8:51 pm

      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!

      Reply
  10. The Kitchenmaid

    23rd January 2014 at 8:56 pm

    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?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      23rd January 2014 at 9:23 pm

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

      Reply
  11. Lou, Eat Your Veg

    23rd January 2014 at 9:01 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      23rd January 2014 at 9:25 pm

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

      Reply
  12. Katie

    24th January 2014 at 6:50 am

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th January 2014 at 10:06 am

      I was quite excited by this Katie – well worth trying.

      Reply
  13. Sylvia F.

    24th January 2014 at 8:14 am

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      24th January 2014 at 10:06 am

      Thanks Sylvia, it was surprisingly good.

      Reply
  14. Deena Kakaya

    24th January 2014 at 8:23 am

    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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      28th January 2014 at 2:29 pm

      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.

      Reply
  15. Sarah Trivuncic

    24th January 2014 at 12:16 pm

    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.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      28th January 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks Sarah – they do make a particularly good soup.

      Reply
  16. Alison

    24th January 2014 at 1:03 pm

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

    Reply
  17. Tina Anand

    24th January 2014 at 1:38 pm

    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.

    Reply
  18. Karen S Booth

    24th January 2014 at 1:41 pm

    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!

    Reply
  19. Rachel Cotterill

    24th January 2014 at 6:37 pm

    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… 🙂

    Reply
  20. Fiona Maclean

    25th January 2014 at 11:42 am

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

    Reply
  21. Jane Sarchet

    25th January 2014 at 1:01 pm

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

    Reply
  22. Baking Addict

    26th January 2014 at 5:21 pm

    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 🙂

    Reply
  23. Jacqueline Meldrum

    27th January 2014 at 12:08 pm

    You are always so imaginative. This would never have occurred to me. Humph!

    Reply
  24. kellie@foodtoglow

    27th January 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Amazing cake! You have come at Jerusalem artichokes from a whole new angle. Kudos 🙂

    Reply
  25. ManjiriK - sliceoffme

    28th January 2014 at 1:13 am

    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

    Reply
  26. Jill @ MadAboutMacarons

    28th January 2014 at 1:54 pm

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

    Reply
  27. AMummyToo

    28th January 2014 at 4:27 pm

    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

    Reply

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