Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chocolate Zucchini Cake


I had a little bit of a fiasco while making this superb cake. It was 11:30pm when I started. Halfway through measuring ingredients, I ran out of flour. Seriously, dude, ran out of flour?

Anyone who knows me well would be horrified by this since I normally have back ups of every staple ingredient in my pantry in order to avoid such middle-of-the-night fiascos. But sure enough, I was unprepared. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. I had about 1 cup and another few tablespoons. Aaaack! Quick decision needed to be made: Go to the grocery store at midnight? Or get creative and find a substitute for all-purpose flour. Ding ding ding. Option B won. I found some cake flour in the cupboard and used 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour for each cup all-purpose flour I needed. Fortunately, it all worked out in the end. I'm alive to tell about my late night flour fiasco!

And about the cake, yes, it has zucchini in the title (and in the recipe), but you would never know it from tasting it. The zucchini, along with the yogurt, just make it really moist. I followed a suggestion from King Arthur Flour's baking blog to sprinkle course sugar crystals on top of the chocolate glaze and that added a nice crunch to each bite. One thing about the original recipe, I needed to bake the cake for significantly longer than the 30-35 minutes suggested - probably more like 45 or 50 minutes. Just insert a cake tester at 35 minutes and judge then whether or not it needs more time.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream or yogurt
2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounce) Dutch-process cocoa
2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional but tasty
2 cups shredded zucchini (about one 10" zucchini, about 12 ounces)
1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips, for icing

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the eggs.

Stir in the sour cream or yogurt alternately with the flour. Then add the cocoa and espresso powder, mixing till smooth. Finally, fold in the zucchini and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, till the top springs back lightly when touched, and it seems set. Slide the cake out of the oven, sprinkle it evenly with the 1 cup chocolate chips, and return it to the oven for 5 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, and use a cake spatula or rubber spatula to spread the chocolate chips into a smooth glaze. Cool on a rack. Yield: 24 servings.


Step-by-Step in Pictures

6 comments:

Deborah Graff said...

This reminds me of the time I was baking pies for Thanksgiving and realized I was out of sugar. I felt like I was starring in a 1950s TV show as I took my measuring cup next door and literally borrowed a cup of sugar from my neighbor. I guess that's an advantage of baking in the middle of the day, instead of at midnight.

David said...

Deborah, what you do is you send one of your kids next door to borrow the cup of sugar. Thats what my mom always did. I was often the one.

Tobi said...

This cake was SO yummy! the next day, my roomate asked where the rest was... she was pretty heartbroken that Marni took her cake pan and utensils home with her... along with the cake itself.

Sorry Arezou...

Marni said...

deborah - weren't you so upset with yourself for having run out of sugar in the first place? i'm still mad at myself!

david - that solution doesn't work for me since i don't have kids. but that's a great trick for some!

tobi - i asked, i begged, i pleaded with you all to keep the cake, but you people watching your waistlines! i just wanted my pan and utensils back! i can't live without my 9x13-inch pan. :)

City Elf said...

i love that you make cake at midnight.

also, i want a piece of that cake!!!

Marni said...

City Elf - i've even been known to start a recipe at 3am once or twice or thrice. but let's keep that strictly off the record. ;)

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