Chocolate and Zucchini Cake
Inspired by a few food blogs I've been perusing, I had the impulse last night to bake a cake with very interesting ingredients (at least to me) since I have all the recipe called for at home. As I ended up droopy-eyed after reading Tintin, I adjourned the grand occasion to the next morning. So before going to French class this morning, I mixed together the ingredients for a Chocolate and Zucchini Cake with Walnuts, and half hour later I got a little fluffy and moist treat, fresh off the oven, for my teacher and the others in class.
Before I spill the recipe, here's a little on the origins of the cake, based on some online research. According to one of the theories, the cake could well be the inventive or rather desperate ideas of Midwesterners where the squash is abundant pretty much year round (near the Great Lakes). There were stories where children grew up leaving bags of zucchinis at neighbors´doorsteps because there were just too much of the vegetable around. There was even something about cars that are normally left unlocked in the Midwest (I can attest to that, having lived in Michigan for eight years, it was really that safe) would be locked during zucchini season lest someone leave a basket of zucchinis in their backseats.
The vegetable is extremely popular in Spain, where I live now. I always have a few in my fridge. Zucchini is known as courgette in the U.K. and France, the diminuitive term for " squash". In Malaysia, where my mum lives, every now and then she could spot some in the market, but it's a variation known as "japanese cucumber" in chinese. My Reader´s Digest Book of Healthy Foods claimed that 100g of zucchini (equivalent to one small zucchini), when gently cooked, provides half the recommended daily dose of vitamin C required for an adult. And voilà, the wholesome goodness of the cake of the day:
Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chopped Walnuts
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa or 4 pieces of dark chocolate grated
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp orange peel
1 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup milk
1/2 chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F
1. In a big bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and set aside.
2. Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer till smoothly blended. Add egg to mixture and beat well. With a spstir sitr in orange peel and zucchini. Lastly, stir in milk till the mixture is well combined.
3. Make a well in the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold in the wet mixture in the center.
4. Pour the batter into a greased and flour-dusted cake pan. Sprinkle walnuts evenly on top of batter.
5. Bake in oven for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick (or uncooked spaghetti) inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring the cake onto a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
To store in refrigerator, wrap in plastic or foil for up to 3 days.