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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Cake



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a wonderful cake, but it's one that falls into my "hate to love it" category. The cake is delicious and fairly easy to make, but I have a problem with its baking time. I've made it several times and on each occasion the baking time has varied. In all three instances, it has taken longer to bake than the recipe suggests. My oven has just been recalibrated, so I doubt there is a problem with the thermostat, and I'm using the specified pan-size, so I know there is no problem there. I can tell you that my cakes still shimmy at the end of the 30 minute time suggested by the recipe. Mine require a minimum of 50 minutes to assure a stable center. I suspect the difference is attributable to the amount of moisture in the zucchini, but I really don't know for sure. At any rate, the cake is good enough that I'm willing to keep an eye on it while it bakes. The cake is based on a recipe developed in the Ghiradelli kitchens and the original recipe can be found here. This version of the cake, created by Kate Westburg, was a winner in a Ghiradelli competition held at the DuPage County Fair this past summer. I've changed the recipe slightly and if you'd like to see the original it can be found here. The cake is delicious, even if it drives me crazy. I hope you will try it. It's worth the aggravation. Here's the recipe.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake ( 3-G Stealth Zucchini Cake)...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, inspired by Kate Westburg

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
1 cup + plus 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided use
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 ounces baking milk chocolate

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease bottom and sides of (9-by-13-inch) pan or 2 (3-by-6-by-9-inch) loaf pans.
2) Combine eggs, 1 cup vegetable oil, vanilla, and sugar in a large bowl. Beat to combine, about 1 to 2 minutes.
3) Sift together cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; add 1/2 cup at a time to wet ingredients. Mix until well combined.
4) Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan; bake 30 minutes for (9-by-13-inch) cake pan (approximately 50 minutes for loaf pans), or until cake tester comes out clean. Using a 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan, I still needed a minimum of 50 minutes to bake the cake.
5) Melt baking milk chocolate in double boiler or in microwave over water (being careful not to scorch). Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon canola oil. Drizzle ribbon topping over cooled cake. Yield: 16 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Zucchini Cookies - The Local Cook
Hazelnut Zucchini Cake - My Kitchen in the Rockies
Chocolate Zucchini Cake - Eat At Allie's
Zucchini Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting - Baking Bites
Chocolate Streusel Zucchini Cake - Let's Dish
Zucchini Cake with Crunchy Lemon Glaze - David Lebovitz
Apple Zucchini Cake with Walnuts - Anja's Food 4 Thought

68 comments :

Ginny said...

Chocolate and zucchini? I can hardly believe it!! And yet it looks so good...

♥The Sweet Life♥ said...

I'm not sure if I commented already. I just want to let you know I love your blog, it's wonderful. I invite you to follow me.

Cristie said...

Mary, I'm a die hard zucchini bread and cake fan. I have to admit that I suffer from the same problem as you in many of my recipes. It is hard to pin down the exact time as to when they are done. I agree, the moister in every squash is different. Some reicpes have you salt and squeeze to remove the water, but I as so happy with the results without- I don't want to mess with a good thing. I'll be trying your cake this weekend, it looks lovely.

Pushpa said...

Delicious I have tried only plain zucchini cake,chocolate zucchini cake looks so tempting and yummy...

Pushpa @ simplehomefood.com

Jeannie said...

I have seen a few chocolate cakes of recent and I must say this is one of the best! Looks so moist! Thanks for sharing, Mary:D

carascravings said...

I can imagine biting into this cake...I bet it is super moist and chocolatey!

My Little Space said...

Zucchini is the best ingredient in baking. Oh Mary, sometmes different oven gives you different baking time. It doesn't matter at all cause your cake looks divine. And I am salivating! ^_^
Hope you're enjoying your day.
Blessings, Kristy

kitchen flavours said...

This cake looks really good! I just made the zucchini muffins, the one you posted earlier on. Thought of adding in chocolate chips but did not! The muffins are lovely! The only thing I change was to reduce some of the sugar (it's a habit of mine!). Thanks so much. This chocolate zucchini cake will be on my list of to-do. Zucchini are not that easy to find over here, the fact that it is not a common vege over in Malaysia, only certain stores sell zucchini, and not always too!

Sushma Mallya said...

it looks divine,yummy...

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Mary, you sound like a cannot be missed :). Chocolate & zucchini, such unique combination.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Maybe the cooking time is a typo? I've had the same problem with cakes - much as I LOOOVE moist cakes, maybe I'm just old fashioned and like them to actually be set!!

Happy travels!

Priya said...

Prefectly baked beautiful looking cake,yumm!

Bits of Taste said...

This is indeed special with the combination of chocolate and zucchini! lovely!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

chocolate and zucchini combination for a cake, this is an interesting recipe, wish I can try out one day.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am sure you are right, the moisture in the zucchini will make a difference to the cooking time. It looks delicious though. Diane

Alessandra said...

This cake is certainly a yes yes yes cake :-), and zucchini are great for baking! Thank you for sharing.

ciao
A.

Peter M said...

Mary, that is one gorgeous hunk of cake!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Fantastic Mary! I'm so interested in chocolate cakes at the moment seeing as I'm doing my search for the best choccie recipe. Yours is beautifully drizzled

Rosadimaggio63 said...

Buongiorno Mary :)
la foto della torta è veramente deliziosa.... però ho un dubbio, zucchine e cioccolato ?
Per sapere il risultato gustativo bisognerebbe provare a fare la ricetta !!!
Proverò !!
Ciao
Myriam

Sanjeeta kk said...

Unusual combo of Zucchini and Chocolate,Mary. But sure tempts me to give a try soon.

MaryMoh said...

This looks like health in a cake! :D I'm keeping this to try. Thanks very much for sharing. Hope you have a great day. Mary

Julie said...

I am a fan of zucchini dessert/bread recipes. I wish I'd purchased one of those large zucchini's from the farmer's market last weekend. This one looks so delicious.

Kim said...

Wow, Mary, your cake looks fantastic! This is the kind of cake that I like!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Mary, I can imagine how moist and delicious this cake must be! I grated and froze my extra zucchini, so I'm going to try this week for the company we are having over the weekend.
YUMMY! Your photos are always good enough to eat!
Yvonne

Foodessa said...

Mary...I've found myself in the position of the 'love to hate recipes' on many occasions. Most times...besides the issue of oven temp. I figure it's an issue of the lack of mention if the pan they use is light or dark...OR...where did they place the oven rack...OR...as in this particular recipe, yes, maybe it's the moisture level in the zucchini.

Ahhh...the trials and errors in out kitchen keep challenging us to no end ;o)

Thank you for this recipe...I have a few too many zucchinis waiting to be used.

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Barbara said...

The cake looks lovely, Mary. I've had oven problems with various recipes as well...have always thought it had something to do with Florida's humidity.

BTW: Your clam dip brought back some wonderful memories! :)

lostpastremembered said...

Anything that uses up 2 c of zucchini is great in my book. One of my favorite new recipes is a chocolate banana cake that has the best texture ever... now I want to try this. Honestly, Mary, 30 minutes must be a mistake... no bread takes 30 minutes, does it? Also, this could be easier to calibrate using weights... I bet it changes significantly depending on the zucchini used. This recipe does look like it's worth the effort!

Design Wine and Dine said...

Love it! All the ingredients are wonderful! The "Hate to Love" category is perfect too...a cake that demands attention and a watchful eye has to be delicious! Thanks Mary!

From the Kitchen said...

Zucchini and chocolate put this in the health food category--right?! I've had the same problem with zucchini cakes and breads getting done in the prescribed amount of time. It has to be the amount of moisture.

Best,
Bonnie

Jenn said...

When I was a kid my mom refused to tell me what was in my favorite chocolate cake that she made... later in life, she confessed that it was a chocolate zucchini cake!! By that time I was hooked :) YUM!

bellini valli said...

It is easy to see why this cake was a winner Mary!!

Claudia said...

Baking is so iffy - I have always found to watch my baked goods carefully - it always takes longer or shorter than stipulated. But chocolate and zucchini always pleases!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

It's funny how/why the cake time varies so much, but yes, I agree that it would be more than worth it to keep an eye on it!

PeggyR said...

I've made this cake and it's wonderful.

Emily Z said...

Wow, what a combination. I have never had chocolate and zucchini together but now I am curious to try it! It looks delicious!

Lynda said...

Chocolate zucchini cake would be woth the trouble I think. I've not made this, but have eaten one similar. It was moist and delicious.
Have a wonderful day Mary.

Beth said...

Cooking light has a chocolate-chocolate chip zucchini bread that is sooo good! Similar to this recipe.

Cheah said...

This looks so yummy and love the picture. Drooling!

Leslie said...

These kind of recipes drive me crazy as well. There is no rhyme or reason on why they cook differently each time!!!

Pam said...

It drives me nuts when recipes take longer than expected but I have a feeling this cake is worth the wait!

Joanne said...

Cakes always take a lot longer for me as well. At least ten minutes, which is kind of a pain because then you have to watch it for a hawk like that ten minutes, absolutely certain that it's going to start burning any second.

This cake does sound quite worth it though. All that chocolatey zucchini goodness.

Katerina said...

That is a great way to sneak zucchini to my sons daily meals. Chocolate is going to be the bait. Thanks Mary!

Satya said...

superb moist n tempting cake ...love the combination of chocolate n zucchini ..yummy

Satya
http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

Cheryl said...

Gorgeous cake Mary! I have heard of such a cake but never made one, it looks like I could handle it!

Chele said...

Wow that looks good. So moist!

nanny said...

I love zucchini bread....I can only imagine the flavor of this.....yummy!

Biren said...

I have only had chocolate zucchini cake once but it was really good. Yours look very moist and delicious!

Faith said...

Chocolate zucchini cake is really lovely and it looks like yours came out perfect! Very moist and flavorful!

Kimberly said...

If the problem is the amount of moisture in the zucchini, then I would suggest using a juicer machine to separate out the pulp from the juice, and then using just the pulp. That might work.

Monet said...

This sounds delicious. Thank you for the warning on the baking time. I agree that it probably has to do with the amount of moisture in the zucchini, but I will be sure to keep my eye on it while baking. Have a beautiful day! Thank you for sharing!

Nancy said...

I often have the same problem, baking at high altitudes, but this one looks worth the trouble of watching it.

Ana Powell said...

Lovely suggestion.
I hope you are well ♥

Kelly said...

I think your suposition is probably dead on and in fact, when I was reading your intro that is what I was guessing as well.

3 hungry tummies said...

Wow that is one combination I am very curious about. Looks wonderful as usual!

Jennifurla said...

LOVely, and the pic is delicious itself

JG said...

It is amazing what tasty treats can be baked using Zucchini!

Yesterday, I baked a batch of the White Chocolate Lime Cookies to bring to a Docent meeting today. My DH & I sampled quite a few before I placed them in the cookie container "to go". They are sooooo gooood! Thanks for the recipe!
~Judy

scrambledhenfruit said...

This looks fabulous- and worth the babysitting!

Peanutts said...

yummm, and who would guess there is zucchini in it :)

The Words Crafter said...

Chocolate zucchini....sounds like an oxymoron but it looks scrumptious!

I only use extra virgin olive oil. I put it in the brownies I make and no one is the wiser...and they taste great!

aipi said...

Totally irresistible for a chocoholic like me..YUMMY!!

US Masala

Anna A. said...

Your cake looks and sounds delicious! I love zukes and chocolate. YUM!

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, this is a favorite of several of my clients with children- they figure if it gets a vegetable into a 4 year old, it's a keeper! :)
I tend to agree that the moisture is probably the cause and I can assure you that mine has NEVER been done in 30 minutes
xoxo Pattie

oneordinaryday said...

Despite the varying baking times, I bet this cake is a winner. Looks delicious.

petite nyonya said...

rich & delicious!

pigpigscorner said...

yea..the moisture of the zucchini is all I could think of..anyway, I tried zucchini cake once and loved it, yet to try it with chocolate!

Marguerite said...

Looks very moist and yummy! It's now on my "must try" list. My oven bakes a cake in 15 minutes, when the recipe calls for 25!

Eliana said...

Seems to me like it's worth the frustration because it looks super delish!

Shumaila said...

Hey! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Made this cake a few weeks back- and while it tasted great I goofed up by overfilling the pan! Anyways will give this recipe a shot again. Linking your recipe on my blog. Thanks again!

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