This one was a BIG hit!!! I called it "Kermit Cake
" when offering it to the kids and they could not guess that it was made of Spinach. More importantly, it did not put them off when they found out! My seven year old wouldn't usually eat spinach if his life depended on it but he could not get enough of this cake. All three kids gave it ten out of ten
and it was popular with adults too. One person guessed the mystery vegetable
ingredient, which surprised me as I could not detect it at all!
I would definitely bake this cake again!
Spinach is full of vitamins (A, B, C, E and K) as well as Iron
Next up was the mushroom cake, I had my doubts about this one and originally considered adapting a recipe for rhubarb muffins but then Dee pointed me to this recipe
she had found.
125g butter (at room temperature)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs
240g wholemeal flour
120 ml milk
400g button mushrooms, washed, dried and grated
75g chopped walnuts
2 tbsp honey
- Preheat the oven to 180oC and grease and line 20cm springform cake tin.
- Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and pale.
- Add one egg at a time and mix well between additions.
- Add the flour and milk, in small amounts, keeping the mixer on a low setting, and ensure each addition is well mixed in before adding the next (i.e. add flour, then mix, then milk, mix, flour again etc).
- Add the mushrooms and mix well.
- Add the chopped walnuts and honey and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Pour batter into prepared tin and tap base to remove any air bubbles.
- Pop in the oven and bake for one hour.
- Turn off the oven and allow cake to cool gradually with oven door ajar.
- Once cake is cool remove from baking tin.
Results and feedback:
|Mushroom Cake... very moist, very heavy and tasted of....mushrooms!|
This was a very dense, moist cake and despite me leaving it in the oven for extra time, there was no denying the taste of mushrooms! Not a cake I would be reaching for again and the feedback overall was similar. The mushroom taste was too strong and put most people off.
Disappointing! I let this one mull around in my head for a few days but then decided to give it one more try. This time I would go back to my original idea and try to incorporate mushrooms in place of rhubarb in my favourite breakfast muffin recipe.
The original recipe
comes from Nigella Lawson's wonderful book Feasts
but I have modified it quite a bit at this stage.
Mushroom Breakfast Muffins
250g soft brown sugar
80 ml vegetable oil (I usually use sunflower oil)
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
250 ml buttermilk
150g mushrooms, washed, dried and grated
75g chopped walnuts
200g wholemeal flour
100g plain flour
50g milled seeds (such as linseed/sunflower)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bread soda (bicarbonate of soda)
: mix 2 tbsp on Demerara sugar with 1 tsp on ground cinnamon.
Preheat the oven to 180oC and place liners in the muffin tray.
In one bowl mix the sugar, oil, egg, vanilla and buttermilk.
Stir in the grated mushroom and chopped walnuts.
Add the wholemeal and plain flour, milled seeds, baking powder and bread soda.
Fold these into the mixture with the minimum amount of mixing.
Spoon into prepared muffin liners and sprinkles with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes.
Result and feedback:
|Mushroom Breakfast Muffins.... Yum!|
This time it was a winner. These muffins were as delicious (or almost) as their rhubarb cousins but with no taste at all of mushroom! The texture and moistness were just right. They were a hit with anyone who tried them and no one guessed the mystery ingredient
Mushrooms contains all five B Vitamins as well as essential minerals and Selenium
Suggestions and tips:
As I mentioned, there were a lot more vegetable cakes I could have tried. I did actually also try a Chocolate and Aubergine
Cake (gluten free) that Aedin from FreeFromGuru
had previously shared with me and brought the cake to a gluten free barbecue where it proved very popular... again no taste of aubergine. Unfortunately I deleted the photos of the cake but you can check out the recipe here
seems to be another popular choice for baking, I like the sound of these recipes...
Courgette cake with Lime Curd and Pistachio
and this Chocolate Courgette Cake
. A good tip from Catriona at Wholseome Ireland
is to squeeze out some of the moisture from the courgettes before adding to the cake batter!
were also suggested to me when I was looking for recipes...I plan to try this one with the children soon...Green tomato buns with Lemon Curd topping
are a popular choice for baking also, I like the look of this recipe
from Wholesome Ireland, and parsnips
were also a popular suggestion...this recipe looks good... Parsnip Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Topping
The last word...
I really enjoyed trying out the recipes for this blog ...and tasting them. The feedback from all my taste testers was very promising. This experiment has really changed the way I think about vegetables and YES I am converted to the concept of using vegetables in my baking. Now I am reviewing my favourite recipes, wondering how I can incorporate various veggies.
The things that pleased me most about all this are...
- my children happily eating a spinach cake!
- surprising myself with a cake that contained mushrooms... and tasted GOOD!
- the enthusiasm and feedback that everyone gave in response to the idea of vegetables in baking!
I hope you have enjoyed this series on vegetables in baking and would consider giving it a go. If you have any comments or suggestions, or if you have some recipes to share please drop me a line in the comments below... I would love to hear what you think!