Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

With zucchini in abundance, either at the farmer's market or, if you're lucky enough, in your own home garden, this cake is a great way to use up all those zukes! I came across this recipe while flipping through Andrea Chesman's, Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook. It's definitely a keeper. I was very pleased with this recipe, as the cake turned out extremely moist with a rich and deep, decadent chocolate flavor. If I didn't tell you there was zucchini in it, you probably wouldn't know. It's main purpose is to provide lots of moisture and give a great texture to the overall cake.

I love bundt cakes because they're simple, yet elegant. The pan does all the work for you, creating those classic decorative ridges. You don't even have to frost the cake or drizzle it with icing, simply dust with confectioner's sugar and voila! It's extra yummy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side too. 

Typically, I make bundt cakes in the fall and winter months as I try to avoid using the oven in the summer as much as possible. But I often feel like I'm neglecting my bundt cake pan as it hangs on the wall for an entire season collecting dust (I suppose it's strange to be guilted by piece of baking equipment). So this is a great recipe to have on hand as it can only be made while zucchinis are in season, forcing me to get some use out of the pan in summer and early fall. Yum!


Recipe from Andrea Chesman, The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook

2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar (dark or light)
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 oz. bittersweet baking chocolate, meted and cooled (see notes below)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ cup coffee
3 cups grated zucchini or summer squash (about 2 to 3 medium zucchini or squash)
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan with butter and lightly flour. Tap the pan to remove any excess flour. Set aside.

Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium size bowl and sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the coffee, and beat until smooth. Fold in the zucchini and scrape the batter into the prepared bundt pan. 

Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack, remove the pan, and allow to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar just before serving (if you dust it too far in advance, the cake will absorb the sugar and you'll have to dust it again).

Yield: 12 to 16 servings

  • To melt the chocolate: chop the chocolate into small pieces and place it in a 2-quart saucepan or medium size glass heat-proof bowl. Temper the chocolate by placing the pot inside or the bowl over a larger 4-quart saucepan of just simmering water. Keep the water at a simmer (do not let boil) and stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula until it is completely smooth and melted. Remove chocolate from simmering water and allow to cool to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe. 
  • If you forget to take your eggs out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature prior to making the cake, simply place them in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 10 to 15 minutes. 

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