Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 2: Chocolate and Zucchini Cake

If obsessing over zucchini and pouring over recipes make me anything of an expert (they don't), the two most common pairings with zucchini are cheese and chocolate.  Which bodes well for my taste buds and not so well for my waistline.

Our house is a little divide on chocolate.  I prefer it to any other flavor, and Matt is indifferent.  He does enjoy high quality chocolate, but doesn't mind mixing things up once a while.

When I made that first batch of muffins, Matt looked at them and said, "What are those dark things?"

Me: Raisins.

Matt: Oh, good.  I thought they were chocolate chips.

Me: No, they're raisins.


Me: We're out of chocolate chips.

This chocolate zucchini cake recipe comes from Chocolate &Zucchini and appeared to be everything I was looking for in chocolate zucchini cake.  It has less sugar than most of the recipes I looked at (a scant cup) and is served without frosting.

Chocolate and Zucchini was the site that gave me a pear cake recipe that has been long been one of my favorites.  It too is a simple cake sans frosting.  A buttery cake with meltingly tender pears and just enough sweetness.  Every time I serve it, I'm inundated with requests for the recipe.  Remember Josh who changed how I make peanut butter cookies and ribs?  I served the pear cake at a dinner party he was at, and he left with the recipe.  So I had high hopes for this cake.

The cake itself is probably the best chocolate zucchini cake I've ever tried.  It's moist with a dense crumb and rich chocolate flavor.  That being said, it's not even in the top five of chocolate cakes ever.  It's fair for me to compare it to my mother-in-law's chocolate Coca-Cola cake, right?

I liked Clotilde's method of tossing the zucchini and chocolate chips in half the dry ingredients before combining (even if it did mean a third dirty bowl).  It kept the zucchini from clumping and the vegetable was completely undetectable.

Matt took one bite and said, "It's too chocolaty for me."  I'm not entirely sure what that means.   That's not a complaint I've ever had.

If you are looking for a rich, indulgent chocolate cake, try chocolate Coca-Cola cake.  If you looking for a simple, delectable cake, try the pear cake.  But if you're looking for a chocolate cake that is lower in sugar and oils, this chocolate zucchini cake is a winner.

Chocolate and Zucchini Cake
from Chocolate and Zucchini

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light brown sugar (I didn't pack mine)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 Tablespoons strong coffee, cold (or 1 tsp instant coffee granules)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 cups grated zucchini with peel
1 cup of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 10 inch springform pan.  Mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add coffee and vanilla and mix.  Add eggs, mixing well between each egg.  In another bowl mix zucchini, chocolate chips and half the dry mixture until zucchini is well-coated.  Separate any clumps.  Combine remaining dry ingredients with wet ingredients and mix.  Add zucchini and chocolate chips and stir.  The batter will be very thick and you'll doubt yourself, but all will be well.  Pour (spoon?) batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool on cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of the cake and remove the side of the pan.

Clotilde says the cake the cake can be served warm or at room temp, but I thought it was best room temp.

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