Ruth Roberts, director of child nutrition services Conejo Valley Unified School District, was reluctant to give the recipe for Country Chocolate Cake to The Times. "The kids won't eat it if they find out green beans are in there," she said. The recipe for the cake was a brainstorm by Nettie Jones, a supervisor at Park Oaks Central Kitchen, who came up with the idea of disguising green beans in chocolate cake to use up an over supply of green beans so the kids would eat them. They did.
When The Times gave children a taste of the cake, we discovered Roberts was right. The children thought it was delicious, until we told them green beans were a secret ingredient. But like carrot and zucchini cake the vegetables supply moisture and are completely hidden by spices. Just don't tell any one they are in there.
COUNTRY CHOCOLATE CAKE
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups oil
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups canned julienne cut green beans, drained
3 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt