Friday, September 23, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Cake


I would like to tell you all how to make a chocolate zucchini cake. Yes, I know that sounds weird, and maybe you're making some weird face at the screen right now, thinking that I'm crazy, but I swear I'm not.  Not that much anyway.  Chocolate zucchini cake is good.  Very good, actually.  

I had been wanting to make a chocolate zucchini cake for a while now...for what reason, I don't really know.  I was just kinda doing my normal thing of looking through other sites and photos, and I just kept seeing all these great titles with "chocolate" and "cake"...followed by "zucchini."  Um, what?  Chocolate and zucchini...that's a combination that actually goes together?  I had never thought of it that way, but I mean, I guess it hadddd to since I kept seeing it practically everywhere I went.


I then supposed that baking a sweet treat with zucchini couldn't be that bad...I mean, those cheddar-zucchini drop biscuits I baked a little while ago were pretty delicious...and I then I thought, 'wow, adding zucchini in a cake is probably the exact same thing as adding carrot to a cake..."  And I love carrot cake.  So, therefore, I figured that if I followed this set of logic, chocolate cake with zucchini would be delicious, and I would love it.


I guess a little logic never fails.  This cake was super good.  Like, really good actually.  You would never know that there is zucchini in the cake, it just tastes like a really delicious and really moist chocolate cake.  Super yummy.  Maybe baking with zucchini should be something I turn to more often...looks like I'm gonna have to end up swapping out the carrot for zucchini the next time I make carrot cake.  I just need to make sure that my logic isn't flawed.


I personally really love the cake the way it came out.  Granted, baking a cake in a bundt pan doesn't always yield the most beautiful cake on the outside, but I honestly really like that slightly cracked look.  Simple and just a tad rustic is always nice.  If you want to be a bit fancier, I think there's no harm in making a really nice chocolate ganache to drizzle over the top of the cake.  

When you make this cake, be sure to give yourself some time to allow the zucchini to drain really, really well.  I personally like to shred all the zucchini and put it in a small colander set over a bowl.  I sprinkle a little bit of salt over the zucchini help bring out all the water, and then I put another small plate over the zucchini with a weight of some sort over the top, a can of soup or something like that will work fine.  Then just let the zucchini and the salt do their thing for about 30 minutes or so, and all the water should have drained out.  If you're in a hurry though, you can place the shredded zucchini in a dish towel and just squeeze out all the water.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting the pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon freshly brewed coffee
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini), all water drained
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Position a rack to the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Grease a bundt pan with nonstick spray and dust very well with all-purpose flour.  Shake out the excess flour.

In a bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. 



In the bowl of a standard electric mixer, cream the butter on its own first.  Once the butter is light and fluffy, add the brown sugar, and beat together.    Beat in the vanilla extract and coffee.  Reduce the speed of the mixer, and add the eggs in, one at a time, mixing will after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.



Add all of the flour mixture, minus 1/2 cup, to the butter mixture, mixing only until everything is just incorporated.  Add the chocolate chips and zucchini to the to the remaining flour mixture, and toss together until everything is coated evenly. Add this mixture to the batter, and mix in with a rubber spatula or whisk. 



Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan, and smooth the top over with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake in the middle of the oven until a cake tester comes out clean after being inserted into the center of the cake, about 50 minutes.  

Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack slightly before running a thin knife around the edges of the cake and inverting onto a platter.  Cool the cake completely before serving.



4 comments:

  1. I"ll try this one Nina and let you know how it came out.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds good Soraya, let me know what you think!

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  2. Hi! Made this today and it was pretty good. However, i think i messed up something because the butter/sugar mixture started to "break up" once I added the vanilla and the eggs (I did mix them 1 by 1). The mix never came together nice, smooth and fluffy like in your pic. Any ideas on what did I do wrong? In any case, the result was still yummy, super moisty, though it took forever to bake. I will definetely try this recipe again!

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm, that's strange. Did you make sure your ingredients were at room temperature? This is one of the most important things to keep in mind when baking anything (except pastries and pie doughs). I sometimes like to cream the butter on its own for about 5 minutes, just to make sure that it's light and fluffy and perfectly smooth, and then I add the sugar, and cream them together for about 5 more minutes. The eggs should definitely be at room temperature as well; if they're not, that could be one reason for your batter beginning to curdle. Cake batters will sometimes curdle when the eggs are added because more liquid than the batter can handle is being added, even if it's only one egg at a time. If you want to be on the safe side, you could lightly beat your eggs separately, and then slowly add the lightly beaten eggs into the mixer. The batter might still curdle, but if it does, it should correct itself once the dry ingredients are added, and shouldn't affect the overall finished texture of the cake. Hopefully this information helps a little bit! Glad the cake came out alright in the end, and that you want to make it again! Thanks for reading :)

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