I've been wanting to make a chocolate and zucchini cake for a few weeks now, so when Marc took the kids out for an hour on Sunday, I decided that my Mother's Day gift to myself would be baking a cake. It seemed only right to turn to the recipe in Clotilde Dusolier's Chocolate & Zucchini cookbook. (Read my cookbook review from last year.) The recipe from the book (below) is almost identical to the one on her blog. The modifications I made are in italics.
Clotilde Dusolier's Chocolate & Zucchini Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature or 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 pat butter or teaspoon olive oil for greasing
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup of all purpose flour and 1 cup of white whole wheat flour.)
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa (I used regular fair-trade cocoa, not Dutch-processed, and the cake came out fine.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (I omitted these since I didn't have any.)
3 large eggs
2 cups unpeeled grated zucchini (about 1 1/2 medium zucchini; you can use the remaining 1/2 zucchini for optional garnish)
1 cup good-quality bittersweet chocolate chips (I didn't feel like chopping up a bar, so I used large fair trade bittersweet chocolate chips.)
Confectioners' sugar or melted bittersweet chocolate (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter or oil. (I don't have a 10-inch pan so I used a 9-inch pan and baked the cake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick in the center came out almost clean.)
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a food processor, process the sugar and butter until creamy. (Instead of a food processor, I used my stand mixer, as I normally do when baking. A hand mixer would work well also.) Add the vanilla, coffee granules, and eggs, mixing well between each addition.
3. Reserve one cup of the flour mixture and add the rest to the egg mixture. Mix until just combined; the batter will be thick. (And it really was thick; don't worry, though!)
4. Add the zucchini and chocolate chips to the reserved flour mixture and toss to coat. Fold into the batter and blend with a wooden spoon, taking care not to overmix. Pour into the prepared cake pan and level the surface with a spatula.
5. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the pan to loosen the cake, and unclasp the sides of the pan. (I was unclear whether I was supposed to actually remove the sides, so I just left it and it was fine, there were no sticking problems later.) Let cool to room temperature before serving. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, glaze with melted chocolate, or decorate with a few slices of raw zucchini (you don't have to eat them, though).