The humble zucchini, what a great little squash it is, or in this case, what a gigantic marrow it has become! My in-laws have a thriving little veggie patch & very generously share much of their produce with us. This particular beauty was longer than my forearm! The risk you run with letting these get too big is that the flesh becomes woody & dry, however, not this one. As you can see, even after one cut, the moisture is literally dripping from the core, making it perfect for adding moisture to a rich combination of dark chocolate & buttery decadence of this particular cake.
I have been struggling to get much quality cooking time in my little kitchen haven of late. This working caper really puts a dampener on whiling the hours away experimenting with food & making mess with my little kitchen helpers. That said, mine is not to complain, I have an AMAZING man at home who has taken the domestic reigns & is making a fabulous go of all that comes of being a stay at home parent. If I thought I couldn’t love him any more – watching him take on all that this entails with such passion & commitment makes me giddy with joy when I see my little family together & happy after a long day away from them.
Anyhoo … I digress, as usual. Back to the zucchini & all its moisture laden, mild tasting, nutrient packed versatility. When my mother-in-law presented this to me, I was overwhelmed with the urge to make a variety of dishes, including, of course, cake! Who doesn’t want cake, seriously?! Which brings me back to my current domestic situation, for all his glorious-ness, my partner is not one for baking, so post shooing the family outside one Saturday morning, I set to work!
After looking at a range of gorgeous recipes, I decided to pay homage to one of my favourite blogs & recipe sites – Chocolate & Zucchini. Clotilde is an incredible & inspirational cook whose recipes are so fresh & inviting, I really enjoy sifting through her posts for ideas.
It is of course so apt to be using chocolate & zucchini in this particular recipe!
While I have tweaked the ingredients ever so slightly, I didn’t want to change too much, as this cake is moist, rich & so, so good as is!
So, here is my version of this delicious recipe, filled with the goodness of fresh zucchini, whole wheat flour & anti-oxidant rich dark chocolate.
- 120 grams unsalted butter, room temperature,
- 2 cups plain wholewheat flour
- 1/2 cup pure cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup brown sugar - (I use Rapadura)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 160 grams bitter-sweet dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 180 grams light cream cheese
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Lightly grease & line a round 22cm cake tin or similar.
- Using a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Whisk until well combined.
- In a mixer, cream the butter & sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla, coffee, and eggs, mixing well between each addition.
- Grate the zucchini, then using a sieve, cheese cloth or clean tea towel, squeeze some of the juice from the zucchini - this will prevent the cake from becoming soggy.
- Using a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, chocolate, and few big spoonfuls of the flour mixture, giving the zucchini a good coating.
- Add the rest of the flour mixture into the mixer bowl, mixing until just combined, making a thick batter.
- Add the zucchini mixture into the batter, folding gently.
- Pour into the prepared cake pan, and level the surface.
- Bake for 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool for at least 10 minutes in the tin, before running a knife around to loosen.
- Combine the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla & cocoa in a large bowl & mix until very well combined. If the mix appears to thick, just add a teaspoon or so of cold water.
- Using a icing knife or similar, gently work the frosting over the top & sides of the cake, dipping the knife in hot water to assist with spreading.
- Sprinkle with shredded coconut (optional).
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
- Cake can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
We loved this Dark Chocolate & Zucchini Cake so much I have made several since, popping them in the freezer to have whenever the occasion or craving hits! Especially handy since I am in the kitchen less than I like, but still want to have treats at the ready!
I do hope you enjoy this as much as we do!