Chocolate and Hazelnut Refrigerator Cake

This is a rich dense cake. The recipe was given to me by An Bord Glas (now part of Bord Bia).


  • 4 oz (110 g) cold mashed potato
  • 2 oz (50 g) hazelnuts
  • 4 oz (110 g) plain chocolate
  • 4 oz (110 g) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 oz (25 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 oz (50 g) glacé cherries
  • 4 oz (110 g) crushed biscuit


Roast the hazelnuts for a few minutes, then remove the skins by rubbing in a clean cloth and chop roughly.

Melt the chocolate in a basin over a pan of hot water. As soon as it is melted, remove from the heat. Melt the butter.

Beat the egg with the sugar, coffee and vanilla essence. Stir in the butter and the chocolate, then the hazelnuts and glacé cherries and finally the potatoes and crushed biscuits. Press into a small, greased loaf tin and put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Turn out and serve in thin slices.

‘Potatoes … the inestimable gift to the numerous class of the needy, which was to have the greatest influence on Man, his liberty and happiness.’

From Tableau de Paris, Volume IV, 1782–88, by Mercier, dramatist and critic.