I've been intrigued with using various kinds of vegetables in baking to make my diet that bit healthier. Can using vegetables really give a cake its moistness? Will the cake still taste of vegetables? Can it really taste like the real thing? These were some of the questions I had so to answer them, i had to try it myself. I've tried baking muffins using peas, banana bread using courgettes but nope, i didn't really like them. The muffin really tasted of peas which was rather odd and the banana bread had an spongy, not to great texture to it.
Not being happy with the recipes I tried so far, I decided to get the Harry Eastwood Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache book after reading some good reviews. All recipes in there contain vegetable of some sorts so it was just what I was searching for...i hope.....
Flipping through it, the 1st recipe that caught my eye was one called Heartache Chocolate cake as it uses aubergines!!!! I really adore aubergine, making Pasta Alla Norma and Caponata quite often but using it in a cake? I've never heard of it before so it would be a pretty interesting one to try. What even more unusual about it was that the recipe didn't contain flour nor butter nor oil?? I was like...how in the world is this possible!!!!???????? So now, this has really caught my attention and I couldn't wait to get into it!! I was definitely skeptical as to how it would turn out so I was keeping my fingers crossed!
And the outcome of it all was................AMAZING!!! I was pleasantly surprised as was my hubby. It was rich, moist,dense and oh so moreish, just like how a brownie should be so I shall call it that instead of a cake. ;P
2 small whole aubergines/1 large weighing 400g
300g best dark chocolate you can find (minimum 70% cocoa solids) broken into pieces
50g good quality cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
60g ground almonds
3 medium eggs
200g clear honey
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 x 23cm diameter x 7cm cake tin
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2) Line the tin with baking parchment and lightly brush the base and sides with a little oil.
3) Cook the aubergine: prick all over with a skewer, place in a microwaveable bowl, cover with cling film and cook on a high heat in the microwave for 8 minutes until limp.
4) Leave until cool enough to handle then skin, discarding any water.
5) Purée in the blender and then add in the chocolate. Heat a little more in the microwave if the chocolate needs help melting.
6) Whisk all the other ingredients together in a large bowl.
7) Fold the melted chocolate and aubergine mixture into the bowl with the other ingredients.
8)Pour it into the tin, place in the bottom of the oven and cook for 30 minutes.(I had to bake it for 50 mins)
9) Remove from the oven. let it cool in the tin and then invert it onto a rack to finish cooling
10) Sieve a little cocoa power on top and serve.