Friday, October 8, 2010

The Real Reason She Bakes With Me

I let her lick the spoons, bowl, and mixer attachments when we're done!  

And yes, she dresses herself these days.  Got to love the "matching" stripes.

The afternoon of this picture we were making a Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  I know it sounds a little gross at first, but I've seen these recipes around forever and always wanted to try one out.  The taste was pretty good and the zucchini adds some good moisture to the cake and allows you to cut down on the fat (see the amounts of oil & butter below) but I had some air bubbles in the batter.  I think the texture of the cake would have turned out better if I didn't overmix it.  And, I'll share a little bit of the blame with my sous chef who loves cranking up the speed on my stand mixer.  When I'm not looking.  Or when I've just added flour or cocoa powder.  It's a mess, but still a lot of fun.

I also wasn't crazy about the one-bowl method in the recipe I used from the King Arthur Flour website so I changed it in the recipe below.  I was, however, a fan of the way that the icing is done . . . pretty nifty!  If you want to make a 9x13 pan, double the recipe below and bake it between 30 and 35 minutes.

Chocolate Zucchini  Cake (one 8x8 pan)
original recipe here

1/4 cup butter, room temperature 
1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup  granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup (4 ounces) sour cream, buttermilk, or yogurt
1 1/4 cups  All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup plus 2 T cocoa powder
1 teaspoon1 espresso powder, optional but tasty
1 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips, for icing
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lighlty grease a 8" x 8" pan. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla.  Beat in the eggs.In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in the sour cream, buttermilk, or yogurt alternately with the flour mixture. Finally, fold in the zucchini.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 27 to 30 minutes, till the top springs back lightly when touched, and it seems set. Slide the cake out of the oven, sprinkle it evenly with the 1/2 cup chocolate chips, and return it to the oven for 5 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, and use a cake spatula or rubber spatula to spread the chocolate chips into a smooth glaze. Cool on a rack. 

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