Zucchini Chocolate Cake

It’s not clear who was the first to add zucchini to chocolate cake, but no doubt it was a wonderful idea, as the zucchini give the cake a very moist texture and enhances the chocolaty flavor.
If so far you were reluctant to try this unique combination, thinking that the zucchini texture and flavor will be too dominant, you’d be happy to know that it’s not noticeable at all. In fact, anyone who eats the cake without knowing it contains zucchini in it, will be surprised to learn it does.
This easy to prepare “all in one bowl” cake, is loved by young and old and is an excellent example of homey American baking. If you’re looking for a cake to serve as part of the dessert table on the coming 4th of July brunch, it is the perfect choice. The fact it keeps well at room temperature for a few hours is an added bonus in such events. Baked in a large pan, as I’ve done here, will give enough portions to feed a crowd. Try it and enjoy.

Notes:
* I find the cake to be sweet enough, but if you prefer a sweeter cake, increase the amount of sugar to 2 cups
* If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 1 cup whole milk with 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice and let it stand for a few minutes until it sours.
* The cake can keep, covered,  in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for up to a month.

Makes: 24
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 40-45 minutes

Ingredients:
For the cake:
2 L eggs
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
½ cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp espresso powder (optional)
1 cup buttermilk (see notes)
½ cup raw cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3 cups coarsely grated zucchini (from 2-3 large)
½ cup mini chocolate chips
For the glaze:
4 Tbs milk
4 Tbs sugar
4 Tbs cocoa powder
4 Tbs (2 oz, 60 grams) butter, at room temperature
For garnish (optional): desiccated coconut, mint leaves, berries

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line a 12” x 8” (20.5cm x 30cm) pan with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and espresso powder. Add the buttermilk and whisk again. Add the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk briefly and add the zucchini and chocolate chips. Mix with a spatula and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
 
3. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes up almost dry. The cake should be moist, so make sure not to over bake it.
4. Take out of the oven, let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature.

5. The glaze: mix the milk, sugar and cocoa powder in a small pot. Cook on low heat for a minute. Mix well, add the butter and cook for 1-2 minutes, mixing, until an even glaze is formed. Cool slightly, mix well and spread all over the cake. Let the glaze set before cutting.
  

Chocolate Crackles Cookies

As I’m off on a three weeks’ vacation, ; I’ve decided to use the opportunity to re-post a few of the very first posts in this blog, that didn’t get much attention back then.
I hope you’ll enjoy these posts and please accept my apologies for not commenting on your posts as often and not answering your comments promptly.

Tasty Eats

chocolate crackle cookies Ronit Penso

I hope that whoever invented Chocolate Crackles cookies (also known as Chocolate Crinkles) received some kind of reward or recognition, for creating these beautiful and tasty cookies. There are many variations for these great tasting cookies, but I especially like the one here, for its’ fairly short list of ingredients and ease of preparation.
The result is chewy and chocolaty cookies on the inside, while the outer snowy-white cracked layer is crunchy and sweet. No wonder they are always a hit with guests of any age.

Makes: about 40 medium size cookies
Prep time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours
Baking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
For the cookies:
10.5 oz (300 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 Tbs oil
¾ cup sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
For rolling the cookies:
About 2 cups powdered sugar

1. Melt the…

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Orange Chocolate Cookies

Orange chocolate cookies Ronit PensoThe combination of chocolate and orange is one of my favorites. I love to add a bit of orange zest to chocolate mousse or chocolate truffles, to dip candied orange peel in melted chocolate and more.
When I made the cookies here, I’ve decided to do the opposite: this time the orange is the main flavor and the chocolate is the addition. Continue reading

Chocolate Banana Cake

Banana Chocolate cake Ronit PensoI was about to make a chocolate cake, when I noticed didn’t have the amount of butter the recipe required. Noticing I have three very ripe bananas in the kitchen, I thought the bananas could act as a butter substitute, while also add their unique flavor to the cake. The result was a rich and moist cake – definitely a keeper.
Try it and see for yourself.

Continue reading

Beet-Chocolate Cake

Beet-Cocolate cake Ronit PensoThere is something fascinating about the American way of adding all kinds of slightly sweet vegetables to a cake batter, mainly for frugal reasons, but also for the moisture and the unique flavor the vegetables add to the cakes. The most common vegetable cake is, of course, the carrot cake, but the list goes on – from zucchini to pumpkin, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and even tomatoes, in the form of a soup…
Adding beets to a cake is less popular, but I’m sure that once you’ll try it, you’ll love it. The beets add a lovely flavor and color to the cake, and the enriched nutritional value is an extra bonus. Continue reading

Chocolate Crackles Cookies

chocolate crackle cookies Ronit PensoI hope that whoever invented Chocolate Crackles cookies (also known as Chocolate Crinkles) received some kind of reward or recognition, for creating these beautiful and tasty cookies. There are many variations for these great tasting cookies, but I especially like the one here, for its’ fairly short list of ingredients and ease of preparation.
The result is chewy and chocolaty cookies on the inside, while the outer snowy-white cracked layer is crunchy and sweet. No wonder they are always a hit with guests of any age.

Continue reading