Sunday 9 November 2008

Brussel Sprout cake

I know that I’ve probably lost most of you with the title of this one! Many people would look more favourably on a cake made from toxic waste than the humble brussel sprout. Maybe the cake is named so purely for the shock factor; however, if you glance at the ingredients you’ll notice that it’s basically a carrot cake with a mischievous twist.

Many cakes featuring vegetables are now commonplace; for example, carrot cake, courgette cake, chocolate and beetroot cake. I’ve even seen recipes that use mash potato. So why not the least loved vegetable in the UK? (I’m not making this up – in 2002 a national poll was conducted to tell us what we already knew). For the avoidance of doubt, these are the babies in question:

The recipe was featured in an article in the Times about Felice Tocchini – a man with perhaps the best job title ever: Chef and Sprout campaigner!

Just in case you’re a sprout fanatic (who isn't?) and wish to mingle with your peer group, please note that this year’s British Sprout Festival will be held 13-14 November in Worcester.

I have to admit that I was drawn to this recipe because I hate sprouts and thought it might convert me. Whilst raw, the mix did smell a bit sprouty...and when it was cooking too. Yum – are your tastebuds watering yet? When cooked it...god, I really want to say that it didn’t smell sprouty...but I can’t still smelled sprouty. However, this could be me. I am very anti-sprout. No one else could smell sprouts or taste them. You can only just see the flecks of green:

Bizarrely, the only criticism this cake got was that the frosting was a touch sweet. My eaters thought it tasted like any carrot cake but my sprout-radar detected the extra ingredient. Try it! If nothing else, it’s a talking point!

For the cake:
2 eggs
125g caster sugar
100ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g self raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
125g carrots, grated
125g brussel sprouts, grated (I did this in my electric mini-chopper)
35g walnuts, chopped
35g raisins or sultanas
25g desiccated coconut

For the frosting:
125g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
250g icing sugar
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Walnut halves to decorate

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Grease and line a 20cm round tin or a 900g loaf tin. I made it in the round tin but actually think a loaf tin would be better.
- Beat the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla until well combined.
- Add the flour, cinnamon and ginger and beat for a few more minutes.
- Fold in the grated carrot, sprouts, walnuts, raisins and coconut.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and cook for approximately 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly. Mine took exactly 50 minutes.
- Leave to cool, in the tin, on a wire rack.
- Now make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese until soft and then beat in the icing sugar.
- Add vanilla extract to taste.
- Spread the frosting over the top of the cake and finish off with some walnut halves.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


April said...

the mind boggles - I'm reqlly not sure I could cope with sprout cake

April xx

Maggie said...

I think you are very brave making this one. The cake looks delicious but I'm not sure I would have the courage to have a slice!!

glamah16 said...

Really! I just got a bag of the biggest sprouts. I should just go ahead and try this.

Katie said...

Sprouts in a cake!! When I first read this I thought it was wierd but the more I think about it the more I'm wanting to try it. Would make a fun twist at the Christmas table - now guess whats in here...

Didn't know we have a sprout festival!

Y said...

Sprout cake! Awwwwwesome! Yes, we're definitely sharing a moment here! I'd happily swap a piece of my moment for a piece of yours! :D

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, a sprout cake! That is too good to be true. Now you can make your children feel guilty while eating sprouts!

I think I might spring this on my unsuspecting workmates. Maww ha ha, I feel evil now!

Anonymous said...

Made this cake but left out the sprouts so it was a non-Brussel sprout cake! Substituted carrot instead. A deliciously light and moist cake. Sublime icing. My children unknowingly get to eat some of their daily five!

pigpigscorner said...

You are brave I have to say. Reminds me of the zucchini cake a made ages ago and ever since, my fiance kept going on and on about how wrong it is to put veg in cakes.

TramGirl said...

I'm intrgued so I am going to make your cake.

TramGirl said...

I've now made your cake and I'm afraid I won't be making it again - the sprouts are whiffable at a hundred yards!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Tramgirl

I did warn you!
Definitely a recipe to file under "curios" rather than "make often"!

Well done for having a go

Chats the Comfy Cook said...

What an interesting recipe. If you can use brussel sprouts, my question is, "Why not any vegetable?"

Mike "Burty" Phillipson said...

I've just made this for a Christmas Cake competition... they actually all really liked it!! (surprisingly).. although i decorated mine with a snowman (well sproutman to be precise)..

.. i have photo's!! ;o)

monkey74 said...

I have just made this for a bake off at work. Looks like a triumph, smells like a trump.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Monkey74

Ha ha - you can't say I didn't warn you!!!

Happy trumping!

sensibilia said...

Ha Ha! This really made me laugh. I am thinking it would be absolutely lovely but without the sprouts, instead using carrots.

I am a big fan of parsnip cake, courgette cake, beetroot cake and of course the top dog of all, carrot cake.

Creative Clinical Social Worker said...

Thanks for posting this! It gave me the confidence to attempt this brussels sprout cake. It turned out great :)

Here is a pic of what I ended up with.

Margo said...

I actually Googled recipes for brussels sprouts cakes because I have an abundance of 'em in my fridge...very (pleasantly) surprised to find some. I shall report back after I bake/taste it

veronica said...

i am going to make that i like to make new thing i just make a chia seed banana cake and that was good

Michelle said...

DO you know what the amounts would be in US measurements?

Anonymous said...

My mum made this for me, it's really lovely

Unknown said...

Just tried it for the first time, here's our verdict:
Appearance - 9
Texture - 10
Ease of making - 7 (there's a lot going on in the background here)
Taste - 8
Bouquet - It’s definitely pronounced ‘bucket’

Would I make it again? Nah, probably not
Is it worth it as a one-off to amuse your guests and frighten their kids? Yeah, I reckon so.
Does it give you wind? Ask me in the morning.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Simon

I'm impressed you gave it a go! Personally, if I manage to navigate the rest of my life without encountering another sprout cake, I will consider myself lucky!

Happy baking

SD said...

Hello, we love this image and would like to feature it on our site. Please get in touch for more details - Thanks, Sandy

Janine said...

I am so intrigued by this recipe! I happen to be a recent sprout convert, and will definitely give this a go next year. Thanks for linking back to it and drawing my attention!

Sunflower said...

I have just made this cake. Yes it does smell but it tastes just as nice as a carrot cake. There is a mild sprout after taste but it isn't too strong. I think I might make this at Christmas from now on as a laugh. Thank you for the recipe.