Friday, 16 August 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Isn't there a rule somewhere that says if you put something healthy with ingredients that know...that it cancels the other stuff out?  It's gotta be true!  Anyways, whether it's true or not, this chocolate zucchini cake will surely cherish your soul. The zucchini keeps this cake super moist and you can barely taste it. I always play a game with my guests to "guess the secret ingredient" and they almost never guess.  My dear friend Winnie gave me this recipe years ago and it has never failed to disappoint.  The only thing I've done differently from the original recipe is that I decreased the sugar; the chocolate chips compensate for the "lack" of sugar.  Enjoy!

Let's get started...

Combine oil, butter and sugar and cream together.  Having your ingredients at room temp is best. The batter gets less "grainy" that way.

Once its creamed together add your eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition

Add vanilla

Grate your zucchini with the "fine" section of your grater. The zucchini doesn't need to be peeled.

I happened to have 2 VERY large zucchini so I ended up using only 1 1/4 to get the 2 cups I needed.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda

See! This is why we sift cocoa powder. That would end up in the cake and it would be very difficult to break down. When you get lumps like this, push it through with your fingers.

Chocolate snow!

Add the chocolate snow and buttermilk in 3 additions.

Addition #2

Addition #3

Now add the shredded zucchini

Spread the batter in a buttered 13x9 pan
(or spray the pan with a nonstick cooking spray that has flour) 

I like to put chocolate chips on top. Some like walnuts. Some like both! If you have mini chocolate chips, they look a bit nicer. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30-40 minutes.

And restrain yourself from digging in immediately. You'll burn yourself. Not that I know from experience or anything...

Garnish with powdered sugar if you like and ENJOY!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 1/4 C All Purpose flour
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 C + 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 C (1 stick) butter
1/2 C Veg, Canola, Corn or any flavorless oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C buttermilk*
2 C finely grated unpeeled zucchini (about 2 zucchini)
1/2 C or so chocolate chips (try to use mini)
3/4 C chopped walnuts, or nuts of your choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour 9x13 pan or spray with "Pam with Flour" or "Baker's Joy".

Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl.

In another bowl beat butter, sugar and oil til well blended.  Add 1 egg at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Fold in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions each.  Fold in grated zucchini.

Pour batter into pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips (and nuts if using).

Bake 30-40 min depending on your oven.  My oven had this done in 30 minutes. Once done and cooled, I like to dust with powdered sugar just before serving, but up to you.

*If you don't have buttermilk, you could use 1/2 C regular milk and put 2 tsp lemon juice and let sit for 5-10 min.  Also, some have used 1/2 C sour cream instead of buttermilk and told me that it turns out just as tasty.
You could use plain yogurt as a substitution. If your recipe calls for 1 C buttermilk, you could sub 3/4 plain or Greek style yogurt + 1/4 C regular milk. This recipe calls for only 1/2 cup buttermilk so you could do 6 tbsp yogurt + 2 tbsp regular milk.
I've substituted 1/2 cup applesauce for the 1/2 cup oil and it still tasted very good BUT the texture was a bit different.  The texture was that of a fluffy cake, it was more gummy but still soft and moist.