Thursday, April 9, 2009

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Yep, this is one of those recipes with the "hidden" veggie. They seem to be all the rage lately, and they're not always all they're cracked up to be, but this one is a delicious exception. Seems like everyone and their sister are cranking out cookbooks chock full of this kind of stuff. This recipe won't disappoint you, though. It's moist and tasty. The chocolate pictured below (with the sliced zucchini) is from a milk chocolate Easter bunny who sacrificed his life for the greater good. The good of cake, that is. You can use regular chips or any broken bits of chocolate you have lying about--dark, semisweet, or milk, as you prefer--in this recipe. Even a mixture of all three, though I admit I haven't tried it yet, sounds interesting to me. Whatever you have on hand should do nicely.

2 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 cups softened unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
3 and 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa (use Dutch process cocoa if you, like me, crave intensity)
1and  1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 and 1/2 cups grated zucchini (drained if very wet)
1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

Mix sifted flour, cocoa, soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a large mixer bowl at low speed, beat the sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs until blended. Increase speed to high and beat until fluffy (about five minutes). Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture alternately with sour cream. Scrape bowl as needed and continue beating on low until well blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for one minute.

Fold in zucchini and chocolate pieces. The batter will be thick. Spread evenly in the pan. (The pan will be pretty full, and the cake may puff up in the oven a bit beyond the rim.) Bake approximately 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the top comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan, on a rack, for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and complete cooling on a rack.

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