I've just had a chocolate cake epiphany, dear readers, and I am now come to preach the way of the Chocolate-Zucchini Cake to you. Yes, yes, I know that over here in the Old Country they are called courgettes, out of some ancient fealty to your Norman conquerors, but as I'm fairly certain this recipe originated in North America, chocolate-zucchini it is. I've going on a day-trip with some friends tomorrow, and we're going to have a picnic. As one of my friends is vegan, and I do like a cooking challenge, I thought I'd find a good cake recipe that she can also eat. You could stick the animal products back in if you wanted to, but trust me, there's no need. This is probably one of the most moist and chocolatey cakes I've had in a while, and there's hardly any sign of the zucchini. I've adapted this from a few recipes I found online.
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
150g good dark chocolate
1 tsp instant coffee granules OR 2 tblsp strong coffee
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tblsp cornflour mixed with 3 tblsp cold water
2 medium* zucchini, grated finely
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 25cm cake pan, either springform or loose-bottomed.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Melt the chocolate over a double-boiler with the coffee (granules or liquid) and allow to cool slightly. Combine the sugar and oil, then stir in the cornflour mixture and the melted chocolate. Add the grated zucchini along with any liquid from the veg to the flour mixture, add the chocolate and stir until just combined. The batter will be quite thick and heavy. Tip into the cake pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40-50 mins, until a skewer comes out clean.
I topped the cake with a ganache made from 50g of dark chocolate melted with enough boiling water to make a paste.
I've just eaten a slice - still warm - with a cup of tea, sitting in the garden. Do you think it counts as one of my five-a-day?
*I know that the perspective in the photo makes the zucchini look like the World's Biggest Marrow, but it's actually just a regular sized one.