Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chocolate Cake For Dad

It's Fathers Day tomorrow and I baked this Dark Chocolate Cake for my daddy. Truth be told, I don't really know if he'd like this dessert. Actually, I don't know what his favourite dessert was. I faintly remember him liking dark chocolate but I don't recall him being a huge fan of desserts. I asked my brother and my sister what they remember and they say that though he liked dark chocolate, his favourite dessert was probably kesari, an Indian dessert made with semolina and nuts and raisins. 

Bummer. Sorry, dad. I don't know how to make that one. 

Dad and Mum on their wedding day

My dad passed away when I was 10. I have a few memories of him — I really wish I could remember more but the ones I have, I cherish dearly. I remember how he loved music. He really loved classical music (he had a huge record collection which I still treasure) as well as pop numbers of his time: Neil Sedaka, Perry Como, Pat Benatar...many more.

He also loved model trains and he had a model rail transport system set up in a room at the back of our house. He'd order the material(scale models of locomotives, streetcars, tracks, signalling, buildings, vehicles, model figures of people, streams, hills, canyons and carpet grass)from the UK and he would spend hours assembling, painting, wiring the different components to create a complete system. They were awesome and I still have all the pieces, though they're not assembled anymore. 

He was also a terrific father: I was his favourite, being the youngest I guess, and so he rarely (if ever) scolded me.In fact, he often indulged my spoilt ways: he'd eat the food off my plate (the bits I hated), for example. The only time he'd get angry was when he saw my less than stellar performance in school. Still, he wouldn't scold me. He'd be annoyed but he'd tell my mother to coach me more after school.

He was also very sociable and loved to dance. He was also quite messy and much to my mother's(and husband's) frustration, I inherited this trait.

I don't think we celebrated Fathers Day much when we were growing up — I don't think it was such a commercial celebration at the time. But we ate dinner together as a family every night and sometimes we'd go out for meals. 

But this year, on the 30th anniversary of my dad's passing, I wanted to bake him a cake. It has dark chocolate, golden syrup, cocoa and eggs. No flour and no sugar. And, it has AUBERGINES. Yeah, BRINJAL.  

One of dad's model train engines, still in mint condition.
This is a cake inspired by Harry Eastwick's Heartache Chocolate Cake which my good friend Jane of The Wayward Oven made some time back. I've been wanting to try it for some time now and this seemed as good a time as any. I've used vegetables in cakes before but I was intrigued at her use of brinjal in a cake. The vegetable added a delicious moistness to the cake which I love. This is a chocolate-rich cake and it isn't terribly sweet. 

I made just a few adjustments to suit my taste: I replaced the honey in the recipe with golden syrup as I don't enjoy the flavour of honey. I also added some mint (chopped fresh applemint). Since I don't have a microwave oven to soften the brinjal, I used Jane's suggestion of softening it on the stove in a saucepan with a little water. For Eastwick's recipe, check out Jane's entry

Dark Moist Chocolate Cake 
(adapted from Harry Eastwick's Heartache Chocolate Cake)

400g brinjal (about 2 large ones)
300g dark chocolate (I used one with 75% cocoa), broken.
50gm cocoa
60g ground almonds
180g golden syrup (the original recipe called for 200g clear honey)
3 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves (not in the original)
2 tbsp Guinness (the original recipe called for brandy)
icing sugar for dusting

Peel the brinjal and roughly dice them. Place them in a saucepan with about 4 tbsp water and heat them (low heat) until they soften. Closing the saucepan will speed up the process. Once they're soft, drain the liquid and put them in a blender and puree them. Then add them to the chocolate in a bowl. Cover with cling film and allow the hot brinjals to melt the chocolate. 

Meanwhile add all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and whisk them together well until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and brinjal and stir well to mix everything together.

Pour the batter into a lined baking tin and bake in a preheated oven (180C) for about 35 mins or until a tester comes out clean.


  1. I love the story...and the picture of the cake with the coach. Will bake this someday, and am sure its as tasty as it looks. Cheers!

    1. Hi Shireen. Thanks! Yes, do try it. Its really chocolatey. If you're not a fan of dark choc, maybe try semi-sweet (62-65% cocoa) ... :)


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