Sunday, August 08, 2010

hiding vegetables in cake

Now, those of you who frequent my blog know that we have no problem getting our required servings of veggies . . . but sometimes I still get a kick out of "hiding" veggies in unexpected places.

Enter, Chocolate Zucchini Cake:

This recipe originally came from a coworker, who brought a mountain of this cake to work a few weeks ago. I enjoyed the cake so much that I asked her for the recipe, but I also knew that the cake wasn't to my liking -- it was too sweet, and just not chocolatey enough! I loved how the zucchini kept the cake very moist, though, and used her recipe as a starting point. Here's my version:

Magical Chocolate-Zucchini Cake
makes one 9X13 pan

Beat together with an electric mixer:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cups sugar

Beat in:
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 packed cups shredded zucchini

Whisk together, then beat into wet ingredients at low speed:
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup AP flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp Penzey's Baking Spice (or cinnamon)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Cool. Top with ganache -- measure 4 ounces (1/4 lb.) good quality dark chocolate into a mixing bowl. Bring 1/2 cup heavy cream just to a boil, and pour the cream into the bowl with the chocolate. Allow the chocolate/cream to sit for a few minutes, to melt the chocolate. Whisk the ganache until smooth. Allow the ganache to cool slightly, before spreading over the cooled cake. In this hot/humid summer weather, this cake definitely needs to be kept in the fridge.

I really like that my version is chocolatey and rich without being overly sweet, and that the cake hides both a little whole grain goodness and some zucchini nutrition. Awesome! I also really like the thin, glaze-like layer of ganache on top -- adds a little extra chocolatey-ness without being overwhelming. Plus, the zucchini keeps everything moist, so you don't even notice the whole-wheat flour. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

And, since we cannot live on cake alone, here are more Asian salads:

Just as good as last time, with the addition of a few sliced cremini mushrooms that needed to be used up ASAP. Happy lunch!


aimee said...

That Asian salad looks fabulous. And I am always a fan of hiding veggies in sweets. Have a great Sunday!

tweal said...

Wow, that looks and sounds pretty delicious. I recently made some carrot zucchini sugar free cupcakes, and they were so moist and delicious - I love baking with fruit and veg :)

Carrie™ said...

Chocolate cake that's good for you? Ingenious!

Emily said...

I also get a kick out of recipes like this!