Saturday, August 29, 2009

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake

First let me say that I often make these into muffins, loaf cakes, round cakes, sheet cakes, you name it. This recipe came from my dear friend Leslie Wales many many moons ago and has become my most often baked item. Thanks Les. I bake hundreds of muffins with my zucchini harvest every fall and freeze them. It works perfectly to take out one on a cold winter's day. Or take out a dozen and frost them for a little party.

I've adapted and reworked this recipe a number of ways. I've listed the original which is also delicious and noted my adaptations along the way, as much as I can. Because you see, this much requested recipe brings up a couple of issues with doing this kind of blog. The first is, I like to improvise and I don't always keep track of how much of this, that and the other thing I've added. And the second thing is that I never time my baking or cooking for that matter. Most of the time I just know how long it takes, or I smell it or I check. With these muffins, I swear, I open the oven when they are a minute or two away everytime. So while I have the time listed for making the loaf cakes, the muffins and sheets cakes are fairly good estimates. Furthermore, I cook on a Viking Professional Stove that is made for high heat cooking. I'm pretty sure that it cooks hotter than other gas stoves and I know that it cooks hotter than electric stoves. So please take these things under consideration, for baking don't change the temp, but just know that the cake may take a little longer in your oven and don't wander too far away. Disclaimer over. These are SUPER yummy.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake

3 Eggs
1 Cup Vegetable Oil (I often replace half of the oil with 1 1/2 cups Flax Seed Meal, this make them low fat and a little denser, but I really like the texture)
2 Cup Sugar (I've replaced the sugar with 1 1/2 cups of Agave Syrup because Agave is sweeter than sugar, and it's good too, but my family likes the ones with sugar better)
2 Cups grated zucchini (I go heavy on the zucchini)
2 1/2 Cups flour
1/2 Cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon (I never add cinnamon. I think cocoa and cinnamon is a strange combination, but don't tell the Mexicans I said so)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 Cup nuts (optional – I always do one batch with pecans but my kids prefer them sans nuts)
1 Cup chocolate Chips (not part of the original recipe, and I often leave them out if I am making a sheet cake that will be frosted, but indispensable for the muffins and what gives them their name, as in "double.")
I've also added 1/2 cup raisins, cranberries or dried cherries which have all been yummy, but don't seem to be keepers, just once in a while changeups.

Combine all ingredients into mixing bowl, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. After everything has been added, mix for an additional 30 seconds until thoroughly combined.

Grease and flour loaf or cake pans or use paper liners for muffins. Muffins take approximately 20-22 minutes, loaf cakes take approximately 45 minutes and sheet cakes take approximately 30-35 minutes.

Note: I just made this recipe into sheet cakes for Jerry's birthday. It was a two-layer cake. I didn't add chocolate chips (or nuts), but I did make a simple ganache (bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream) and spread it between the layers. Then I frosted it with a vanilla buttercream. It was delicious.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, this is a seriously wonderful treat, so moist and decadent. I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate jumbo chips and love the texture they add. I want to try this recipe out on my daughter when she gets home from college, to see if she realized she's eating squash!