29 August 2013

Z is for Devilishly Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Recently we had some family come into town. The Hubbs best friend and little brother, Rhen and his wife Kori, were in town for a few weddings and we were able to spend some time with them and try to convince them to move back to Utah because everyone misses them a whole heck of a lot (can you tell that I am shamelessly advocating for their return?)
Needless to say that they were pretty busy between our constant calls to hang out, wedding's to go to, and other friends and family to see. Their busy schedule provided us with some lag time at my in-laws house. I have a pretty severe opinion about lag time, you see I feel like it has to be filled with something productive, its a weird opinion to have and I am sure I retained it from my, strict as a military bell schedule, upbringing. Sometimes is can be a pain, especially when one is really really unproductive and just reads books all day (of course I am not talking about myself or the fact that I may have done this very exercise last Saturday). But on nights like last Friday it ends up paying great dividends in the form of oozy, gooey, Devilishly Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake.

I was lucky in the fact that when we got to my in-laws house no one was to be found. So I had time to raid their garden surplus and figure out what I wanted for a Friday night treat. I had been perusing some zucchini brownie and cake recipes on Pinterest when I came across two recipes that just said MAKE ME NOW. How can you say no to Pinterest?

Now this recipe is my adaption of the Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe from Key Ingredient.com If you would like the original recipe click here. It is also the first installment of my series of The Food Alphabet on the blog (there are already a few that have been posted if you follow me on instagram). First things first I hate 9x13in cakes. I don't know why but I have a serious prejudice. Sheet cakes, great, bunt cakes, awesome, rolled cakes, even better... But put a cake in a 9x13in pan in front of me and I just want to scream. I think it reminds me of casseroles, and I am almost completely adverse to casseroles save a select few. I decided to make this recipe in two 9 in circular pans. This is where the oozy, gooey will come in.

The second major adaptation is the addition of some smartly sweet whipped cream. When you are looking for something light to offset something dark. In this case semi- sweet and dark chocolate my favorite inclination is towards either a fruit or whipped cream. I feel like it just helps relieve your palate from the bitter notes that deeper chocolates can have.

And just a note, I don't cook much with Coffee or wine so I tend to use alternatives to give me the same flavor combinations. One of my very best pastry chef friends turned me onto a coffee alternative called Pero. Its a caffeine free product that helps develop the flavor of chocolate just like espresso or coffee does. This recipe only calls for 3 tsp but I really feel like it adds so much depth. So if you want you can definitely omit it but I say go crazy and make a midnight run to Walmart to purchase it (or if your Hubbs owes you a favor like mine did make him go and ask 13 different stock boys where you can find the non- coffee coffee... Then when he calls you and can't find it beg and plead with him to ask just one more person. Its really hilarious)

Devilishly Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

From the Desperately Happy Housewife, Adapted from Key Ingredient.com


½

cup (1 stick) butter
½

cup vegetable oil 
1⅔

cups granulated sugar
1

tsp. vanilla
1

tsp. baking soda
½

tsp. baking powder
½

tsp. salt
2

large eggs
½

cup  Greek yogurt 
 2½

cups Flour
¾

cup cocoa
  2

tsp. Pero
   2½

cups shredded zucchini or cucumber
1

cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Whipped cream Filling

2 cups Heavy whipping cream

1 tsp Vanilla

4 T Sugar



Chocolate Ganache Topping

6

oz heavy cream
1 1/2

cups Semi-sweet chocolate chips ( or dark chocolate chips) 


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly coat 2 9″round pans with baking spray
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until each is incorporated.
3. Stir in the yogurt alternately with the flour. 
4. Stir in the cocoa and Pero powder, mixing until smooth.
5. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips and add the melted chocolate into the batter. Mix until incorporated. 
6. Finally, fold in the zucchini. 
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cake for 35 – 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a rack.
 9. To prepare the ganache topping heat the heavy cream a glass bowl on top of a bot of boiling water, add in the chocolate chips and whisk until chocolate is melted and the mixture becomes silky and shiney. 
 10. To prepare Whipped Cream. Place heavy whipping cream in the bowl of a mixer with the vanilla and sugar. Mix on high to incorporate air and make it fluffy. Beat until stiff peaks form. Cover and put in the fridge until the cake has cooled. 
11. Once cake has cooled. Place one layer on a cake plate and then add a generous layer of the whipped cream that you made earlier. 
12. Place the second layer of cake on top and pour ganache topping over. Feel free to let the topping drip down the sides of the cake. If you have extra whipped cream you can put it on top of the ganache or you can use it to garnish your cake slices when you serve them. Enjoy!
Hey y'all I am Sara otherwise known as the Desperately Happy Housewife. When I am not working I am busy crafting, blogging and re-decorating my house. I channel Lucille Ball and Lauren Graham on a daily basis to get me through the "Oh my gosh I just sewed my finger" moments that often happen. I hope you stay a while and get a chance to see what makes me desperately happy.

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