Once they start “coming-in” there’s no stopping them. Zucchini that is. Anyone who has ever grown zucchini knows that once they start it’s only a matter of time until you are inundated with them. Years ago I remember reading a story about a town that used the proliferation of their garden-grown zucchini to engage in a month-long town-wide prank in which the residents would leave piles of them on each other’s doorsteps or other inconvenient places each evening. Taking this idea to heart, one Monday morning I lugged two shopping bags full of obscenely large zucchini from Oley to my law office in Manhattan and left one on each of my co-worker’s desks before they arrived. “What, pray tell, do I do with THIS?” being my favorite reply from one particularly astonished pal.
Zucchini Bread is one common way for me to alleviate the zucchini “problem” we have each summer and I also shred it into tomato sauce and into quiche so that my non-zucchini loving children eat it without knowing they are eating it. Based upon the number of recipes I was able to find on the subject, it appears that camouflaging zucchini is apparently a very popular cooking trend. The most intriguing? Chocolate Zucchini Cake.
I believe that pairing chocolate with pretty much anything makes it better. Case in point? Chocolate Shoo Fly Pie which has become a huge hit (next to my Zucchini Bread). Chocolate with zucchini? I was willing to give it a try since, after all, there’s PLENTY of zucchini to experiment with.
What I like about this recipe (and admittedly, all recipes) is its simplicity because if I have to go to the grocery store to buy an obscure ingredient…it’s not happening. I also liked the fact that it did not contain a lot of sugar. I want to believe that it is a cake that is healthy because, after all, it has zucchini in it. Whether you tell your family there’s zucchini in it is entirely up to you.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups white sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
3 cups shredded zucchini
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Then add in the eggs and oil and mix well. Stir in the zucchini then pour into your pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until you can insert a knife into the center and it comes out clean.
Cool before adding frosting if desired, slice and enjoy!
The next time you find yourself staring at a pile of zucchini (hopefully not on your driver’s car seat or blocking the entry to your front door) you’ll now be equipped to turn your “problem” into dessert.
For the record, Aug. 8 is “National Leave Zucchini On Your Neighbor’s Porch Day.”
Surprising your neighbors with chocolate zucchini cake would be a nice thing to do but it’s certainly not as funny.
Felicia Fisher is the founder of the Black Buggy Baking Company and lives in Oley, Pa. with her husband and three children who are all willing taste-testers.
For more information on what Felicia’s baking up visit her web page www.blackbuggybakingcompany.com or “Like” the Black Buggy Baking Company on Facebook.