8.08.2008

Zucchini Ghosts


Chocolate Zucchini Cake- recipe below

Most everyone who grows zucchini remarks on the aggressive growth and the seemingly thousands of squash it produces. Zucchini is prolific, just how tenacious it is was proven to me this year. For reasons that shall remain private, I did not plant zucchini in my garden this season. As the garden progressed, I noticed two squash plants popping up seemingly out of nowhere. I let the plants mature a bit and behold..... zucchini. It had reseeded itself and returned to haunt my squash-less garden. I briefly encouraged the zucchini plants to grow, before I noticed an alien looking fruit beginning to develop. It was the furthest thing from the sleek, shiny zucchini from last year.
Lumpy and bumpy with odd coloration, I made an executive decision to pull up the plants and make room for my tomatoes, which are doing great!
So for all of you that DID plant tenacious, prolific zucchini, this recipe is a great way to use up some of your crop and and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.

I have used this recipe for many years, adapted from the Oregon Journal.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup canola oil
1 & 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour milk*
2 & 1/2 cups AP Flour
1/3 cup dutch process Cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups shredded zucchini (green or yellow)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease & flour a 13 X 9" sheet cake pan.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, oil & sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and sour milk, blend thoroughly. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Blend with creamed mixture. Stir in shredded zucchini. Pour into prepared pan and even out batter.
Sprinkle chocolate chips and walnuts evenly over the top of the cake. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes with a toothpick, when the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, the cake is done.
Cool completely in the pan, cut into squares and serve.

* Sour Milk can be made by adding a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to fresh milk, let sit for about 10 minutes.

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A dedicated foodie, with a passion for the best food. Favorite food crushes include; Cheese, Wine, Breads, Seafood, anything made with eggs, ...there's actually no point in a list, there isn't much out there I don't have a crush on. Transplanted from the Northeast at age 18, a whole new frontier of food was opened up to me. I have fished for Salmon, hunted for mushrooms, cracked open fresh oysters from the sea and devoured them on the spot. Figs, pears, peaches, so many indigenous jewels! I dedicate this BLOG to the endless variety this region provides. My hope is to live here for a very long time & continue to discover and experience it's unique bounty! Alas, my life has now taken me to Cincinnati, OH where the food culture is like none I have ever experienced.

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