Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chocolate and Zucchini Cake



I know zucchini and summer squash aren't as glamorous as some other summer produce. Anyone who grows the stuff is probably so sick of it by now that they have been sneaking it in to their neighbor's mailboxes for weeks, but I've been busy sneaking mine into baked goods. I have to admit, it makes me feel pretty wholesome to use a vegetable to make cake, but make no mistake. This cake is dessert. A deep cocoa tinted batter is studded with chopped bittersweet chocolate and the shredded zucchini breaks down and lends an incredible moistness to the finished cake. It is so tasty that all it needs is a snowy white dusting of confectioner's sugar to serve, but if you feel like gilding the lily, dollop some whipped cream on there too.

Chocolate and Zucchini Cake
adapted from Clotilde's legendary recipe

120g all purpose flour
120g spelt flour (or use all purpose)
60g cocoa powder
1t baking soda
1/2t baking powder
1/2t cinnamon
1/2t sea salt
180g light brown sugar
115g (1 stick) soft, unsalted butter or 1/2 cup olive oil
1t vanilla extract
2T strong cooled coffee
3 large eggs
350g finely grated zucchini (I used one small zucchini and one small, yellow summer squash)
160g chopped chocolate
confectioner's sugar, for dusting

Preheat your oven to 350º . Butter and flour 6, 6oz ramekins and place them on a sheet pan or butter and flour, 1 10'' springform pan or an 8'' square. Really, just about anything would work here.

1. Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
2. In a mixing bowl combine the chopped chocolate and grated zucchini, then 1/3 of the flour mixture and toss to combine.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla extract and coffee. Scrape down the bowl and stir completely to combine.
3. Add the remaining flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and stir gently, then fold in the chopped chocolate and zucchini.
4. Divide the batter between the ramekins, slide into the oven and bake for 30-40min until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
5. Serve warm, dusted with confectioner's sugar and maybe a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on top.

8 comments:

  1. I am definitely making this this weekend. Do you think that the chocolate chunks really add a lot, or are they indispensible?

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  2. gah... dispensible. omitable. leave-outable?! :)

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  3. OW - I think warm, oozy chocolate chunks are pretty important, but you could certainly leave them out for a less decadent treat.

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  4. I am a chocolate lover and this dessert looks delish. :)

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  5. Make no mistake about it: I'd love to find zucchini in my mailbox. Though, I'd probably like to find this cake in there even more. ;)

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  6. Nice dusting! So sophisticated...

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  7. my zucchini have gone bonkers - thanks for the mailbox idea! the cake is right at the top of my must bake list; in fact it's my favourite way to eat zucchini!

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  8. This is the best cake ever! I normally love to share food with friends and family, but not this cake. It's just too delicious to share. Anybody who's afraid to make it because they have bad memories of their mothers cooking tortured zucchini desserts when they were small shouldn't be; this cake is nothing like that. It really is just a wonderful chocolate cake which the zucchini makes perfectly moist.

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