September 15, 2011

Italian Chocolate Zucchini Cake

For those of you who planted zucchini in their gardens as I did, you maybe looking for a way to thoughtfully use up your plentiful bounty without driving your family crazy with variations of zucchini main dishes. This is where chocolate zucchini cake comes in perfectly. This is an Italian recipe, and like so many Italian dishes, this one is perfect. It's not too sweet, which to me makes it perfectly Italian - at least in my experience of eating in Italy.

The recipe is inspired by The Italian Dish (an exceedingly beautiful food blog), but my version uses egg and milk alternatives. I baked the batter into muffins and froze them instead of a full-size cake so that I could pack them into Joey's lunch - we really don't finish cake quickly enough around here. The cake is moist and satisfying, with a subtle sweet and chocolate flavor. It really is delightful and would be wonderful served at a dinner party.
  • 1 large zucchini from your garden, trimmed and grated (use medium holes on a box grater)
  • 8 tbsp butter - room temp.
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed + 6 tablespoons water (combine and set aside)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 organic soy milk + 1 teaspoon whit vinegar (combine and allow at to set at least 15 minutes)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Working in batches, drain the zucchini by wringing it out in a mesh cloth, cheese cloth, or tea towel. Transfer to a bowel and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F / 160C. Grease a 9-inch cake pan or muffin tin (or use cupcake papers in your muffin tin).
  3. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together into a bowl. Set aside.
  4. In your KitchenAid (or whatever mixer you use), beat together butter and sugar until fluffy - 3-4 minutes. Add oil, mixing well. Add flax and water mixture and vanilla.
  5. Reduce mixer speed and alternately add flour mixture and milk. Stirn in zucchini.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 50 minutes for muffins, 1 hour and 15 minutes for cake. When finished, allow to cool 15 minutes before removing from tin to cool completely on wire racks.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar and serve or freeze.

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