Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This Chocolate Zucchini Cake is a very elegant use of sometimes unwieldy zucchini. Chef Donna's cake has a beautiful, glistening "ganache" (chocolate with milk) icing. Zucchini is fine in muffins and skewered on the grill with floppy onion and chunks of tofu but really fine with chocolate.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake


1/2 cup local butter

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large local eggs (room temp.)

1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt

2 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa

2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional

2 cups shredded local zucchini

1/2 cup chopped (70% cacao) dark bittersweet chocolate

Ganache Icing:

1 cup local heavy cream

1 ½ cups rough chopped (70% cacao) dark bittersweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly coat a 9x13pan with baking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla, and oil. Beat in the eggs.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa and espresso powder.

Stir in the sour cream or yogurt alternately with the flour mixture. Mixing until smooth. Finally, fold in the zucchini and the 1/2 cup of chopped chocolate.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 35 - 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a rack.

To prepare the ganache icing: Heat heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat, add chopped chocolate, and then cover saucepan with a lid. Wait about 5 minutes then stir several minutes to combine until a dark, smooth consistency. The ganache will thicken as it cools. When warm, but not hot, pour over cake and smooth with offset spatula. The icing will set in about 30 minutes.

note: This cake freezes nicely.

Chef Donna Fisher is a caterer located in Longmeadow MA who specializes in local food.