So today is National Zucchini Day, not to be confused with National Zucchini Bread Day which was April 25. I had a great Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipe, so I was trying to think what would be special for today's 'celebration.' Even if you only have one zucchini plant, you know that it produces endless zucchini, and just when you think there are no more, you discover one the size of a three year old child under the leaves. If you're not growing your own zucchini, the farmer's markets are loaded! Go for the smaller ones for flavor, but if you have a big one in the garden grate it and throw it into these cakes. Waste not, want not.
This first recipe is an adaptation from Bon Appetit. I have no idea when, but if you have the original, you know it has mutated.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 1/2 cup flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa or your favorite Dark Chocolate cocoa
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped walnuts (you can also use pecans)
1 1/2 cups broken (chopped) dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a bundt pan or a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, oil and sugar. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add in vanilla and zucchini. Add flour alternately with the milk to the zucchini mixture. Stir in the chocolate chunks and nuts last. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until done. Leave in cake pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto cooling rack.
Here's a Second Recipe that uses a Chocolate Pudding Cake mix with very moist results. It's adapted from Southern Food: Easy Chocolate Zucchini Cake By Diana Rattray on about.com This chocolate zucchini cake is easy to make and loaded with chocolate chips, shredded zucchini, and nuts.
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup sour cream
1 chocolate fudge cake mix with pudding in the mix, about 18.25 ounces
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 medium zucchini, shredded, about 1 1/2 cups shredded
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or broken dark chocolate chunks
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt cake pan or 10-inch one-piece tube cake pan. Heat oven to 325° (350° for a light-colored pan).
In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat the butter until light; beat in eggs and flavorings. Beat in the sour cream and cinnamon, then slowly beat in the cake mix. Stir in the zucchini, chocolate chips, and pecans.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving plate to cool completely. Frost the cake or dust with powdered sugar.
If I were to frost either of these cakes--but they really don't need frosting--I would use chocolate ganache.