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School Lunches : Secret-Ingredient Cake

September 06, 1990|TONI TIPTON

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

3 eggs

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

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Powdered sugar

Beat eggs until lemon colored. Add granulated sugar, oil and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Stir in green beans.

In separate bowl, combine flour, salt, soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Fold into egg mixture and mix well. Pour batter into greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 40 minutes until wood pick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 24 servings.

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