Ooh, I love this cake. It used to be my 'thing' - I made it often, sometimes several times a week during school holidays, and while I flirted with a few other favourites (like Walnut Torte and Double-choc Brownies), Chocolate Zucchini Cake was default dessert. Until I discovered cheesecakes, and began devoting my baking time to first perfecting the classic New York and then experimenting (Nigella's Lime and Chocolate is divine, but that's another post).
The other night, out of nowhere, I was stricken with an incurable craving for my old Choc-Zucchini friend. Well, not quite incurable - I made one and, by the next night, it had been completely demolished.
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
* 2 cups flour (I used wholemeal spelt - I reason that this makes it an essential part of my diet)
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* pinch cinnamon, pinch nutmeg
* 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
* 3 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 3/4 cup buttermilk
* 2 or 3 raw zucchini, shredded
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
* icing sugar
1) Grease a 10-inch cake tin. Preheat oven to 180°.
2) Sift flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa; set aside.
3) In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until light in color and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy; beat in oil.
4) Beat in the sifted dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk. (The mixture is quite liquid, and I thought it would turn out badly; as it was, the cake was just the right amount of moist and dense, happy days!)
5) Fold the shredded zucchini into the flour mixture along with vanilla and pecans (if using). Spoon into prepared tin and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a clean knife inserted in center comes out clean. (My cake took a bit longer, maybe 15 minutes or so.)
6) Cool in tin on rack for 10 minutes, then remove from tin to cool completely. Sift confectioners' sugar over cake before serving. (It is even better served with some thickened cream drizzled over. Which kind of cancels out the health benefits of the sneaky serving of vegetables..)