Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chocolate and Zucchini Cake

According to a number of cookbooks I've read recently, it used to be far more common to put vegetables in sweet cakes.  It makes a lot of sense, not only because this was one way to sweeten batters before sugar was widely available and affordable in Europe, but also because the moisture in the raw vegetables leaks out as the cake bakes, and makes a very moist texture.  Carrot cake seems to be the only cake of this type to have survived, except for this recipe we have been making for a few years now.  When I first heard of it, I thought it would taste terrible, but you can't taste the zucchini, and believe me, once you try it, you'll be pondering other ways to include vegetables in your cakes!

Chocolate and Zucchini Cake

125 g butter
1 c brown sugar

½ c white sugar
3 eggs
2½ c flour
1 t vanilla
½ c plain yoghurt
¼ c cocoa
2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
½ t mixed spice
½ t salt (if using unsalted butter)
3 c grated zucchini

Beat butter and sugars, and then add eggs, one at a time, with a spoonful of the measured flour (this stops the eggs curdling).  Add the vanilla and yoghurt and mix well to combine.  Sift in dry ingredients, add the zucchini, and mix well until thoroughly combined.  Bake at 170°C for ~45 minutes in a 25 cm tin.

Variations:  Omit the cinnamon and mixed spice if desired.  Add ½-1 c of chocolate chips before you add the dry ingredients, to make it even more chocolatey.  Swap the yoghurt for about half as much sour cream for a lovely tang (if the mixture becomes too dry, just add a small amount of milk to make up for the yoghurt).

I did have a photo of this cake, but it came out terribly and the cake didn't survive long enough to take another.  I will pop one in next time we make it!

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