I could tell you some heart-breaking story* about this cake but let’s face it – there’s not a lot that’s sad about chocolate cake. Chocolate and aubergine though? Hey, I’m game!
So here’s the deal – it’s got one of your five-a-day, it’s deliciously moist, lower in fat than a usual cake (perhaps), wheat free… and does it taste like aubergines? Well maybe a little but mostly, just chocolatey goodness.
Purple chocolate cake
2 small whole aubergines (weighing roughly 400g)
300g dark chocolate (I used 55% cocoa solids because sometimes 70% is just too dark), chopped
50g good-quality cocoa powder
60g ground almonds
3 medium free-range eggs
200g clear honey
2 tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brandy (the original recipe says this is for moral support – I’m gonna say it’s for fun)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment and lightly brush the base and sides with a little oil (I used olive).
Peel the aubergines and coarsely grate. Heat gently in a covered pan for about 5 minutes until soft. Discard any water at the bottom and then blend until smooth. Once the warm aubergine is puréed and smooth, stir in the chocolate. Set aside, stirring occasionally until all the chocolate has melted.
In a large bowl, whisk up all the other ingredients for a minute until slightly frothy. Fold the melted chocolate and aubergine mixture into the bowl with all the other ingredients.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place it in the bottom of the oven for 30 minutes. (If you’re like me you’ll then take it out the oven and decide it needs just 10 minutes more. Then you’ll nip outside to walk the dog and take photos because it’s sunny. 40 minutes later you’ll be relieved to discover that your cake is still not unhappy but nonetheless ready to be rescued. And so I would suggest 45 minutes might be more accurate.) Remove the mixture from the oven and let it cool in its tin for at least 15 minutes before turning on to a wire rack and peeling off the parchment. Quickly turn the right way up again and sit it on a plate to avoid any scars from the rack.
Serve chilled and dress the cake with anything you like – I went for some powdered sugar, cocoa and toasted almonds. You could go for frosting or flowers or anything you fancy except, probably, aubergines… that might not be so good. I asked the husband what would look good on it – his reply… ‘my mouth’.
*Recipe from Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache book with very slight alterations.