Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chocolate (zucchini) Cake

Hiding veggies. Yep. You can even hide them in cake. Just don't let the kids help you bake it. :) If you're like me, you grew zucchini last year, shredded tons of it expecting to make bread over the winter, stuck it in the freezer and forgot. Oops. This recipe will use it up fast. Don't let the idea of making a cake from scratch scare you. It's easier than you think. (just like the bread) Remember, I'm a simple girl. If it was too hard or time consuming I probably wouldn't do make it. But let me tell you, it tastes far better than anything from a box. And you gain some self confidence when you say you made all by yourself and really mean it (not like that refrigerated cookie dough that we all feel just a little guilty about).

When you cook or bake from scratch there is the added benefit of knowing precisely what is in the mix. If you are the individual responsible for shopping and putting food on the table and in the bellies of your loved ones, you are the gatekeeper. The security guard who determines what gets in and what does not. Is it safe? Is it healthy? What do they need to avoid? Who do we keep out? Hydrogenated oils? High fructose corn syrup? High cholesterol foods? Who gets invited in? Spinach? Fruits? Farm-raised chicken? Garden tomatoes? Local cheese?

Here is simply grand way to sneak in that healthy zucchini we want to let in (that nobody seems to know what to do with) and leave everyone asking for more.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe
(i didn't come up with this recipe, you can click on the link for the original source. i do change it a bit. it's supposed to be in a bundt pan with a glaze. i don't own a bundt pan. i use a regular cake pan and chocolate frosting. it's nice with whipped cream and fruit, too.)

2 1/2 cups regular all-purpose flour, unsifted
1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup soft butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (use all the liquid from your zucchini. if you drain it, your cake will be dry. trust me. i tried it once. you need every bit of that juice to make the cake nice and moist.)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional. my kids are picky and won't eat the nuts)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

1 Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

2 With a mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar until they are smoothly blended. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a spoon, stir in the vanilla, and zucchini.

3 Alternately stir the dry ingredients and the milk into the zucchini mixture, including the nuts with the last addition.

4 Pour the batter into a greased and flour-dusted (or sprayed)regular cake pan - use what you have. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes (test at 45 minutes!) or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5 Frost

Cut in thin slices to serve. Makes 10-12 servings.

Hope you guys enjoy! I'll be making this for Easter.

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