Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Best Way to Disguise Zucchini

Zucchini Chocolate Cake
The best way to disguise Zucchini is in baked products. While you might have had zucchini bread or muffins before, you might never have heard of zucchini chocolate cake. This treat is awesome not only because it uses 3 cups of shredded zucchini, but also because it tastes really yummy, just like chocolate cake should and because the zucchini offers a moisture to the cake that keeps it fresh longer. I know it isn't zucchini season currently, but I am using some zucchini one of my friends kindly insisted I take home last summer that I grated and froze. Zucchini is mostly water, so when it thawed, there was quite a bit of water that had separated from the vegetable flesh. Some of it I drained and the rest I added to the recipe, in place of the buttermilk(yes, I know the buttermilk was supposed to DO something, but I forgot at the moment of actual mixing) In case you can't tell, I am trying to rotate my food storage and get some things used up in fun ways. The original recipe called for all purpose flour, but the whole wheat I ground a couple of days ago worked great and was full of fiber and other nutrients that are classically lacking in commercially milled flour.This recipe was also borrowed from the Joy of Gardening Cookbook. My aunt used to cook this cake all the time when we had an excess of zucchini.
Zucchini Chocolate Cake
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate(I weighed out 4 oz of DARK chocolate chips because I was out of unsweetened)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1/3 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk or sour cream
3 cups of grated zucchini or summer squash
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour or line with parchment paper two nine inch cake pans. Melt chocolate and oil together. You can do this in the microwave or over very low heat on the stove to make sure it doesn't burn. Cream the butter until light, then add the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat well.  Add the melted chocolate and mix well. Sift together(yeah, I always stir them thoroughly instead of sifting) the dry ingredients and then stir them into the batter with the buttermilk. (This was the point I just dumped the melted zucchini into the batter. Oops!) Mix good and then taste the goodness... Oh wait, that wasn't the end! Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. Cream Cheese frosting is a great match with this rich cake. This cake is SO good! You might not want to tell your family and friends what is in it, until they rave about it.

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