Monday, July 26, 2010

summer fest time again? cukes & zukes week = a recipe for chocolate zucchini cake

i first told you about summer fest a couple of years ago. each week a summer staple from the garden is featured and a group of bloggers share their favorite recipes and then cross promote the other blogs. for readers it is the perfect opportunity to discover cool bloggers and amazing recipes...just when you need them most. as an example...this week is cukes and zukes week. if you have a summer garden, tell me you are not inundated with cucumbers and summer squash right now....or that you have not been given bushels full from friends and neighbors...or, if you are like me and belong to a csa, that your boxes have not been brimming with said produce for the past few weeks.

i always love the creative ideas that come from these weeks...and am inspired by the talented bloggers that participate in the event...everyone from trained chefs to home cooks to beginners...and we all learn from each other.

the schedule is as follows:
■7/28: cukes n zukes
■8/4: corn
■8/11: herbs, greens, and beans
■8/18: stone fruit
■8/25 tomatoes

this week i thought i would share my chocolate zucchini cake...made with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. moist, chocolaty, delicious...a favorite in my house when zucchini gets to be a bit too much. i might hear "oh no! more stir fry with more grilled more stuffed zucchini" (you get the idea)...but i never, ever hear "oh no! more chocolate cake!" the zucchini is a tweak to a recipe i shared a couple of years ago...vegan chocolate cake with figs ...inspired by a cake in the moosewood restaurant book-desserts. their version first introduced me to the concept of using vinegar in a cake. thank you moosewood! this cake is also delicious without the zucchini (or figs)..a bit lighter and more "cakey". the zucchini makes it dense, moist and really you have options depending on what type of cake you want...try both versions(exact same recipe...just leave out the zucchini)...and please let me know what you think...

chocolate zucchini cake

3 cups organic unbleached flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup best quality unsweetened premium cocoa powder (i like scharffen berger)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups cold water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp pure balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini (i use a box grater)

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. grease a bundt cake pan using extra virgin olive oil. add the first 6 ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. stir with a wooden spoon to mix. add rest of ingredients and stir, using the paddle attachment, until just incorporated. pour batter into the prepared pan and bake 45 min to 1 hour. test for doneness by sticking a skewer, chopstick or knife into center of cake. if your tester is clean when you remove, the cake is ready. rest on a rack for 30 minutes. invert onto cake plate and allow to cool completely. dust with powdered sugar and serve. (this is also delicious with a chocolate glaze drizzled over the cake and served with ice cream or fresh fruit.)

please check out my 2008 zucchini food fest post zucchini madness for additional recipes. is your turn to get involved with summer fest. you have two can add your favorite zucchini recipe in the comments section of this post (link to your blog if you have one)...or you can join the fun and create your own blog post. margaret roach from away to garden and deb puchalla are coordinating everyone's efforts so check out their sites for all the details. (and some amazing recipes)

best, and happy cooking!

diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885™"live a green life of style™ "

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Paige Orloff said...

I have to try this--everywhere I go, it seems, friends are raving about the chocolate zucchini cakes they just made...but I never get to sample them, because they've been devoured. As for me, I'm going savory today--check out my zucchini bread pudding over at The Sister Project.

Alison said...

Okay..making this tomorrow. Our garden is totally overrun with squash and this is a great way to disguise it! lol! Thanks for the recipe. =)

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks paige...yes, make the cake so you can devour it really is good. speaking of good...your zucchini bread pudding sounds heavenly! i will be making one with tomorrow's batch of summer squash...
thanks for the comments...

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi glad you are trying the cake. please let me know what you think...

divinacucina said...

hubby just asked me for zucchini bread too-- Mine is also oil based- so will try your version with chocolate-- love it!

brooke said...

Diane dropped by two slices of this moist, spongily good cake on Tuesday - along with the most delicious slices of peach pie topped with pecan crumble - and all I can say is wow!

I ate the last bites of the chocolate zucchini cake this morning for breakfast and didn't feel the least bit guilty about it. It's not too sweet, the olive oil makes the texture almost creamy to run your fork through, and I'll be making my own in order to continue what will be a new breakfast tradition.

Leslie said...

wow.. I have never seen or heard of a zucchini cake. I have to taste this!!!!
Have a great weekend

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks divina...and i replied to your tweet...yes, the vinegar replaces eggs in this recipe. i have no idea how it works...but it does! ha :) i want to try your zucchini bread....


Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

brooke! what a sweet comment...thank you. so glad you enjoyed the treats...i confess that i have been eating the zucchini cake for breakfast too...the evoo, vinegar and zucchini makes me feel less guilty :) but boy does it taste delicious with coffee...

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks leslie...hope your weekend was terrific too...did you try the cake yet? let me know what you think...