The truth is, I’ve never liked zucchini. It’s the one vegetable my mother would make that I would refuse to eat. I didn’t like its slime and I didn’t like its taste.
But for some reason, I am irrationally compelled to grow it in my garden. I don’t know if it’s the way it grows so big and beautifully, but I can’t resist. I did get lucky last year, planting it in the least sunny spot in the garden, resulting in only a mild overabundance of zucchini.
There are ways I enjoy eating zucchini as an adult, most of which involve shredding it. I’ve made zucchini fritters and a casserole my mother-in-law called “Zucchini Expected” (because it’s no longer a surprise). I love the zucchini orzo recipe from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. But I think my favorite culinary application of zucchini is really as an ingredient in baked goods. Often we make zucchini chocolate chip cookies, but yesterday we made a really delicious zucchini chocolate cake, using the last of the shredded zucchini from last summer’s garden.
Anna had a great time with the mixing. She spun a tale about Prilla the fairy (who visits the mainland from Never Never Land) being in the bowl of batter.
I started with this recipe, which is zucchini chocolate bread, but let’s be honest here…this is not bread, it’s cake. Or at least it’s really really sweet bread. Once I did some tweaking (butter instead of oil, reducing sugar, subbing whole wheat flour) and made up for missing ingredients (cinnamon and unsweetened chocolate) , what I baked bore almost no resemblance to the original recipe. Miraculously, it came out great–moist and sweet-but-not-too-sweet. Here’s the recipe:
Zucchini Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/3 cup flax meal (optional)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup Rapadura or brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 convection). Grease and flour a bundt pan. Mix together the flour, flax meal, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside. Beat eggs together with the sugars, vanilla, and butter; stir in the zucchini. Mix dry and wet ingredients lightly and pour into pan. Bake about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Yum!