Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Zucchini



It should not surprise me that on this day last year I posted about zucchini. July in Wisconsin is rife with the squash. If you don't grow it yourself, someone else you know does, and zucchini plants are prolific.

And, so, my zucchini supply is bountiful. Just as I use up the last of my supply, more appears.

Last night it was zucchini pancakes, my absolute favorite way to use zucchini as a dinner component.

Today, though, it was time to move onto sweeter fare: a chocolate zucchini cake from an issue of Bon App├ętit. The cake is fabulous and with the substitution of whole wheat flour, I can almost believe it's healthy. Healthy or not, it's a perfectly moist chocolate cake. If you can, enjoy it warm!



Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (about 2 1/2 medium)
1 6-ounce package (about 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter and oil in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions each. Mix in grated zucchini. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan.

4 comments:

Melanie T said...

I was just talking about a zucchini chocolate cake recipe with a friend today. I guess I need to try this one to compare. The buttermilk adds to the texture and flavor, I'm sure.

Please share your zucchini pancake recipe. Pretty please?

Cate said...

Melanie,

There are tons of good recipes out there, but the bones of mine is this:

3 eggs
2 zucchini, grated
1/2 c. whole wheat flour or stoneground cornmeal
Add more flour or a little milk to make pancake consistency
salt and pepper to taste

I find I always have to futz w/the consistency depending on the amount of zucchini I have on hand, so sometimes I add more flour, sometimes another egg... you just want to make sure the consistency is similar to regular pancake batter so that you can fry them.

And, just like potato pancakes, applesauce is delicious on top! :)

nina said...

In grating, do you look for coarse slivers or fine mush?

Both dishes sound sublime. I run out of ideas with zucchini especially since it doesn't get a full thumbs up among those in my household. It used to be that I'd have to almost kill the taste with spices (curry!) before my girls would eat a goodly amount. Your ideas are clever and fun.

Cate said...

Coarse slivers. However, it isn't that I purposely set out to grate into coarse slivers, it's just that I use the grater attachment on my Cuisinart and since I only have the large grater, that's what I get. Seems to work, though if you have a choice I could see a finer grate working really well in the chocolate cake (though probably not with the pancakes).