Sunday, 15 January 2012

Chocolate Lettuce Cake - Really!

Could I devise a cake for January that reflected all our good diet intentions? Well....nearly but as you can see from the confused rabbit on top, maybe it's not all it should be! It really does contain lettuce and yogurt which are healthy ingredients but after that, things went a little awry; chocolate chips fell in as well as Green and Black's cocoa powder.

I can imagine there are some of you now with disapproving faces. A bit like in the TV Reality shows; Cupcake Wars or the Great British Bake Off, where one of the contestants has made some inexplicable ingredient combo and the judges aren't convinced but of course, they still have to taste it. However, lettuce cake has been done before but to a more traditional carrot cake type of recipe. If you are tempted to read further, click for the recipe for Spiced Lettuce Cake Bars at Baking Bites.

So what did it taste like, by some miracle was the lettuce hidden from view and were we all pleasantly surprised ? ? ?

Well.....I used iceberg lettuce and chopped it finely but it is hardy stuff. Yes, you can see the lettuce, it kept it's colour surprisingly well and you can taste it a bit. The overall family opinion was that you could taste it a bit much, perhaps an alternative to iceberg would produce something sweeter. The texture was fine, a nice fudgy chocolate cake. We definitely like carrot cake and we like chocolate beetroot cake and even lemon potato cake. But chocolate lettuce cake is being eaten, very, very slowly.

That's it! the cake you only want a tiny bit of, brilliant diet idea, or not?

Can I appease you with a Sweet Cherry Lips Cupcake instead?

In fact, I don't think my heart was truly in the experiment as I was only prepared to sacrifice half the cake batter to the lettuce cake and the other half was turned into some delicious chocolate cherry cupcakes. So for the curious, here is the Chocolate Lettuce Cake recipe and for the traditional, a few Sweet Cherry Lips Cupcakes. Happy Baking for 2012!

Text Only Printable Recipe




225g (8oz) Butter
225g (8oz) Golden caster sugar
4 Large eggs
200g (7oz) Self raising flour
60g (2 oz) Dark Cocoa powder (Green and Blacks)
125 ml ( ½ cup ) yogurt

For the one half of batter: 1 cup of lettuce finely chopped
60g (2 oz)  Dark chocolate bar  cut into small chunks or chocolate chips

For the other half:  few drops of red food colouring and 2 tbsp milk

Icing 1 for cake
60g (2oz) Butter
225g (8oz) Icing sugar
25g (1oz) Cocoa powder
Chocolate Sprinkles

Icing 2 for cupcakes
60g (2oz) Butter
225g (8oz) Icing sugar
60g (2oz) cream cheese
Cherry Jam - 6 tsps- Morello Cherry works well
Chocolate Lips to decorate

Preheat oven 150c/130c Fan/300F/Gas Mark 2.

Grease and line a sandwich cake tin (20cm/ 8 inches). Place 6 large cupcake liners into tin.
Cream the sugar and butter together. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the cocoa powder . Fold in the flour and add yogurt. Divide batter into 2. In one half add the chopped lettuce and chocolate chips. Put into a lined sandwich tin and then into the oven for 30 mins until done. Allow to cool and decorate with simple chocolate buttercream (whisk softened butter and icing sugar together with cocoa powder mixed into 2 tbsps of hot water) and sprinkles.

For the remaining batter add 2 tbsps of milk and a few drops of red food colouring. Place into cupcake cases in tin and cook for 20 mins or until done. Allow to cool and then cut out top with teaspoon. Place a tsp of cherry jam/ jelly into centre and replace cake piece on top. Make cream cheese frosting; combine butter and icing sugar first and then add cream cheese. Beat until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes and add decoration, I used chocolate lips. My sweet cherry lips ! no lettuce.