Forgotten Zucchini Cake
There are many recipes on the internet for zucchini cake as these vegetables tend to get out of hand in the garden and sometimes a real bruiser emerges that is either destined for the compost heap or a relative who lives in an apartment. Presented last week with one the size of a small baseball bat, as well as a large bag of delicious blood plums by way of consolation, I took the challenge and found that I was able transform the forgotten zucchini into a rich, fluffy chocolate zucchini cake. I devised a recipe and halved and altered the standard sugar content without compromising the structure of the cake. The cake itself is easy to mix by hand in a bowl. The only bit requiring a bit of work is peeling and grating the zucchini. If you have a mechanized vegetable grater then that should make preparation a breeze. The fat content comes from extra virgin olive oil and some dark couverture chocolate buttons but you can omit the extra chocolate extravagance if you wish.
Elizabeth’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Line base of a 23 cm springform tin. Preheat oven 160ºC (fan forced).
- 350 g S.R. flour
- 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 175 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 160 g light brown sugar
- 40 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 600 g grated zucchini
- 2/3 cup dark couverture buttons (optional)
- 100 g crème fraîche
- 100 g 70% cocoa chocolate or buttons
Prepare the zucchini. If using a large oversize one forgotten in the garden peel it and using the tip of a teaspoon remove the seeds. Grate the flesh with a course grater and measure the wet weight. Put the flour, salt, spice and cocoa in a bowl and mix well to combine. In another bowl stir the eggs, sugars and oil well with a whisk, making sure you break up the lumps of brown sugar. Add the zucchini to the wet ingredients and then fold through the dry ingredients and the chocolate buttons. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out cleanly. Leave the baked cake in the tin to cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove the sides and cool for another 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to remove the base and baking paper. The cake is very soft when warm, so minimise handling while it is still warm.
Prepare the ganache when the cake is completely cold. If using block chocolate chop it into small pieces and place pieces in a bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan and when it starts to boil remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted. Leave to cool and thicken slightly and then pour and quickly spread over the cake. This cake stays light and moist for a few days. Enjoy.