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Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Zucchini, zucchini - that oblong vegetable that grows like crazy once you plant it in your garden. You'll get so many of these squash plants that you will need to either give them away or find creative ways to use them in your kitchen. Perhaps the world's greatest culinary invention is Chocolate Zucchini Cake! Who says you can't have it all? Why, you can have the health benefits of the antioxidants in cocoa powder/dark chocolate and eat your vegetables too! Mom would be so proud.
In fact, perhaps you can feel a little less guilty letting your own kids indulge in dessert if this is what is going on their plates. If you want to use some clever code so that they don't catch on to the fact you're slipping them some green stuff, you can call this recipe Chocolate "Z" Cake, like I do. Don't mess with a mother!
Gather Your Kitchen Utensils and Cookbooks
½ cup butter: softened
½ vegetable oil
2 cups sugar (I prefer superfine bakers)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ t. vanilla (real) extract
2 ½ cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardelli's)
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
¾ cups buttermilk
2 cups grated zucchini
¾ cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli's Bittersweet 60% Cacao chips-whole)
½ cup heavy cream
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate (Ghirardelli's)
1 T. light corn syrup
½ t. vanilla (real) extract
1. Grease thoroughly a large Bundt cake pan with soft butter (or use Pam Baking spray). Add flour and shake to dust entire surface. Knock out excess flour. Heat oven to 350.
2: In large mixing bowl combine butter, oil, sugar, eggs and beat together at med-high for 2-3 minutes until light and airy. Add vanilla and blend.
3: In a large bowl, sift together the flour cocoa, baking powder baking soda and salt. Then whisk to combine well.
4: Stir in about 1/3 of dry ingredients into creamed ingredients until evenly blended and then 1/3 of the buttermilk and stir again. Continue in this fashion.
5: When batter is evenly mixed, fold in zucchini (about ½ at a time) and then walnuts and then chocolate chips.
6: Scoop into prepared pan, filing it evenly and smoothing with a spoon.
7: Bake on center rack of oven 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted deep into the cake comes out clean. (Suggestion, place cake dish on light baking sheet while baking, as cake likes to volcano over the edge a bit). Set pan on cooling rack, cool 20 minutes. Carefully loosen the edges from pan with a knife and invert onto cake plate (with a slight lip for the frosting).
8: Heat cream and chocolate in the top of a double boiler until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup and vanilla. Let cool for a minute to thicken and spoon over cake.
More Fun with Zucchinis - Zucchini Rice Recipe
This Cake is a Health Food!
Certainly, you have heard the news in the past few years about the health benefits of certain types of chocolate, including cocoa and dark chocolate? Do you have high blood pressure? Chronic fatigue syndrome? Heart disease? Medical research studies show that these conditions can be relieved by ingesting cocoa powder and/or eating a small amount of semi-sweet chocolate. Unfortunately, this is not a license to go overboard, but the antioxidants in these types of chocolate can help lower blood pressure. In addition, the fat in chocolate is only "half bad." It has equal amounts of oleic acid (a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil), and stearic and palmitic acids, which are forms of saturated fat. Monounsaturated fat will not raise cholesterol levels, although saturated fat is best kept to a minimum in a healthy diet.
Of course, its hard to argue with the health value of vegetables, like zucchini. This squash plant is available year round at grocery stores, and is at its peak season in spring. At only 17 calories per cup and 1.5 grams of fiber, it is a healthy choice - particularly eaten raw. It has a high amount of Vitamin C (more than 15% daily value), which is considered to be a great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Make sure you wash it first before eating or cooking with it. The skin does not have to be peeled first.
More Tasty Cocoa Recipes - No Zucchini Required
Not only does this recipe call for healthy ingredients, but it is delicious! That's the most important thing when eating dessert, don't you think?
If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this recipe or my hub, please be sure to drop me a line below!