"Pride of place at tea time was the chocolate and zucchini cake which everyone loved. Daughter in law 1, who is a very keen cook, guessed the zucchini element, but the others all pooh poohed her. The meal fell into total disorder when Son 1's 4-year-old twins threw a tantrum after being refused a second slice, they loved it so much. Anyway each of the three sons cut the remaining cake into thirds to take home and I had only had the tiniest piece...... I shall have to make it again a bit quickly"
I served this cake all summer long last year and intend to do the same again this year...it is a great standby birthday cake for a table of plenty, can be paired with stewed fruit, fresh strawberries, served with creme anglais, yogurt, creme fraiche or runny cream...so versatile is this cake and it is as good as next day as first day. Not too sweet and light of crumb it is a easy fail-proof favourite.
Chocolate & Zucchini Cake from Clothilde Dusoulier's book 'Chocolate and Zucchini'
- 240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 180 grams (1 scant cup) light brown sugar (I use unrefined cane sugar)
- 115 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, or 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or 2 tablespoons strong cooled coffee -- this is just to deepen the chocolate flavor, you won't taste it in the finished product
- 3 large eggs
- 350 grams (2 cups) unpeeled grated zucchini, from about 1 1/2 medium zucchini
- 160 grams (1 cup) good-quality bittersweet chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate
- Confectioner's sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 25-cm (10-inch) round spring form pan or a 22-cm (8 1/2-inch) square pan.
1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer (or by hand in a large mixing bowl), beat the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the vanilla, coffee, and eggs, mixing well between each addition.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, chocolate chips, and about a third of the flour mixture, making sure the zucchini strands are well coated and not clumping too much.
3. Add the rest of the flour mixture into the egg batter. Mix until just combined; the batter will be thick.
4. Fold the zucchini mixture into the batter, and blend with a spatula without over mixing. Pour into the prepared cake pan, and level the surface.
5. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer onto a rack to cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the pan to loosen, and unclasp the sides of the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with icing sugar or ice with chocolate if desired but doesn't need it...
NB. I cannot for the life of me delete one of these images...so you have it twice!