Monday, October 1, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Cake--Low Sugar (if high fat) Recipe

     Sure, it sounds gross...chocolate...zucchini...cake, but it's delicious, I promise.  This is something my mom made every summer when I was growing up, with fresh zucchini from my dad's garden.  It's sweet, but not overly sweet, and has a slightly rougher texture that gives it a certain rustic charm.  We made this cake this weekend for a church gathering, and decided to swap out the sugar for Splenda, since Jerry is a diabetic, and can't ever eat any of the desserts people bring.  I also decided to make it in loaf pans (1 regular and 2 small) instead of the usual angel food cake pan, so that I would have a couple of small loaves to take to school with me this week.  At any rate, here's the recipe. 
     -4 eggs
     -3 c. sugar (we subbed Splenda)
     -1.5 c. vegetable oil
     -3 oz. Chocobake unsweetened pre-melted chocolate
     -1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
     -0.5 tsp. almond extract
     -3 c. all-purpouse flour
     -1.25 tsp. baking soda
     -1.25 tsp. baking powder
     -1 tsp. salt
     -.25 tsp. cinnamon
     -3 c. finely shredded zuchinni
     -0.5 c. chopped dates
     -0.5 c. chopped pecans
     -0.5 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
     To begin, beat the eggs until foamy and very light in color.  Gradually add the sugar until well blended, and then add the oil and mix well to combine.  Next, stir in the chocolate and the extracts.  Then, add the dry ingredients.  Note, the dough here will be very dense and friggin difficult to stir with a spoon.  I recommend using the dough-hook on your Kitchenaid-style mixer if you have one; it worked pretty well for me.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into ungreased pan of your choice (10" angel food cake pan or large loaf pan works well) and bake at 350 for around 75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  These can be tricky to get out of the pan without them sticking, and I'd recommend running a knife or spatual around the outside to help get them out easily.  Cool completely, then slice.  *Note: this is awesome frozen or chilled*
         -While the Splenda version was good and cut way back on calories, I don't think the flavor was
           quite as robust as with regular sugar; next time I might use half sugar, half Splenda.
         -There is a ton of fat in this recipe; I'm going to play with it and see if I can't swap some of the
           vegetable oil out for applesauce or other ingredients (a nice rich stout, perhaps?)
         -I'm thinking this same basic cake, but with less oil, a rich, strong imperial stout (I'm thinking
          maybe Goose Island's Bourbon County?) and some holiday spices might. be. delicious.  I'll
          have to try that at some point!

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