Chocolate Zucchini Cake – Sooo rich and delicious, this just might be your favorite way to eat veggies.
Sweets and I have had an odd sort of relationship lately. Turns out, baby boy is not much of a fan of sweets. Which is a real shame, because I am a seriously devoted fan of sweets. Perhaps this means that my baby will be an avid lover of fruits and vegetables, because that’s one of the only things that consistently sits well with me during this pregnancy, and, supposedly, the more variety you eat while pregnant and nursing, the more varied and accepting your baby’s palate will be…
(Side note for my 12th grade English teacher, Mrs. Oberlander: please do not grammatically assess the above sentence. I am pregnant and unable to eat sweets as often as I’d normally choose and should therefore be exempt from grammar ridicule. I will consult Strunk & White when my baby is here).
Grammar errors and heinous run-on sentences aside, let’s talk about a perfectly indecent (and delicious) way to eat your vegetables, shall we?
As a child, I hadn’t the slightest regard for what adults referred to as “rich” food. What the heck does “rich” mean? Two scoops of chocolate ice cream in a chocolate waffle cone with chocolate sauce and chocolate sprinkles tastes just divine! What do you mean “it’s too rich”? I could have happily smothered nearly everything I ate with cheese or chocolate. As an adult, thankfully, I can see that cheese and/or chocolate does not make everything better.
Zucchini is an exception. I love zucchini with a little parmesan. Oh, Dolly, do I love zucchini and parmesan. Zucchini + Parmesan = Love. When I don’t enjoy my zucchini with parmesan, however, I like it a lot when it’s paired with chocolate. In the form of cake. This cake, in fact.
I use a recipe from King Arthur Flour that’s fabulous. I make a few changes to the recipe, which seems to happen a lot these days. First, I omitted the espresso powder since I’m not a coffee person. Secondly, due to an unfortunate fiasco involving a pie I baked and a failed (read: scorched) ganache I made while trying to simultaneously whip up an orange sauce for chicken wings and entertain a toddler, I ran out of cream. So, I used the next best thing, which is whole milk and a pat of butter. Worked like a charm. You can use the milk + butter combo or heavy cream. Your choice. Lastly, I used regular cocoa rather than Dutch-processed because that’s what I had on hand. You can use whichever you please, but note that Dutch-processed cocoa will have a slightly darker, richer appearance and flavor. I’ve tried both with good results.
Seriously reader, I hope you can excuse my serious case of pregnancy brain. I’m a touch on the crazy side these days, but it’s for the best cause ever. Also, it comes with cake.
For the cake:
- 1/2c butter, softened
- 1/2c canola or grapeseed oil
- 1 3/4c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3/4c unsweetened baking cocoa
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2c sour cream
- 2 1/2c flour
- 2–3c grated zucchini (no need to peel)
- 1/2c semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the ganache:
- 9oz (about 1 1/2c) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- scant 3/4c whole milk + 1 Tbsp butter (or 3/4c heavy cream)
For the cake:
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream together butter, oil, and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Next, add 1/2 of the sour cream, followed by 1/2 of the flour. Repeat with second half of sour cream and second half of the flour. Finally, fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.
- Spread batter into a greased 9×13″ baking dish and bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few moist crumbs. Allow cake to cool slightly while you make the ganache.
For the ganache:
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips together with milk and butter until very smooth. Be sure to stir very regularly so as not to scorch chocolate.
- Drizzle ganache over the still-warm cake and smooth with a spatula (a flat icing spatula works especially well, but a regular spatula will do the job just fine). Allow cake to cool completely and ganache to set.
- (If you’re in a hurry, you can refrigerate the cake to speed up the process). Slice and serve!
- Any leftover cake can be sliced and frozen.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour