Oh yes it does my friends. After making the roasted vegetable spread with my first zucchini harvested from the children's garden I had a second zucchini more than ready for harvest the following day. I plucked it, put it on my counter and dutifully did the ADHD + OCD dance of mine where I put off doing anything with it by immersing myself in finding the perfect recipe for our second zucchini.
I did this for two nights, pouring over dozens of zucchini bread, muffin, you name it recipes before I snapped back to reality. I remembered my go-to source for a recipe that would be successful without having to tweak too much and/or risk tossing - the King Arthur Baker's Banter blog. It's pretty dangerous subscribing to a blog published by a handful of bakers who's sole job it is to perfect recipes then post enticing tutorials and pictures. Even more dangerous is reading the posts in the morning leading one to crazy thoughts like, "if I feed the kids cereal for breakfast I can get this pie/cake/brownie/cookie recipe done in time to have it for breakfast myself." Muahahaha. I'm such a horrible role model.
Well the King Arthur bakers delivered. A moist chocolate zucchini cake that has you forgetting it has zucchini in the batter after your first bite. This isn't a fancy pants bakery, fudgy, valhrona dark chocolate flourless torte number. No, this is an earnest, church pot luck, chocolate sheetcake type specimen with a good bit of honest chocolate flavor but not so overwhelming the kids refuse to eat it. Just with that little detail of having two cups worth of zucchini in the batter which no one has to know but you and me. Not that there's anything wrong with an intensely chocolate cake but I like variety.
I did make one change. I wasn't feeling the melted chocolate chips glaze for the cake so I decided to make a pourable chocolate icing like you would find on most texas sheetcakes. I used a recipe I'd found on the side of a Hershey's Cocoa canister a while back but it ended up being quite stiff. Nothing a little extra milk couldn't fix and it was a perfect pairing for the cake. Next time I might even add a little coffee or expresso powder to the icing for a little extra sharpness.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
adapted from King Arthur Baker's Banter
1 stick butter - 1/2 cup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large eggs
1/2 cup yogurt - can sub sour cream as well
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons expresso powder - It's optional. I used 1 teaspoon instant coffee and 1 teaspoon Hershey's Special Dark unsweetened cocoa.
2 cups zucchini - grated on a box grater
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Texas Chocolate Frosting
adapted from Hershey's
1/2 stick butter - 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons + 1/4 cup milk - the 1/4 cup is approximate
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9x13x2" pan. In the bowl of your mixer add the oil, butter, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well until smooth and a bit fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time beating between each egg added. I love the swirls of the beater in a thick batter.
Next, add half the yogurt. Mix again.
Then half the flour and mix again. Finish adding the rest of the yogurt, then the flour beating in between the additions.
Don't overbeat it since there's still a few more ingredients to incorporate. Add the cocoa, expresso powder and in my case a teaspoon of the dark cocoa.
Add the zucchini and chocolate chips. There's something so wrong with that much sugar, chocolate and green vegetable in the same bowl.
Yup, just very very wrong.
Spread your batter out into the pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs and not batter. Mine took a bit longer but start checking around the 40 minute mark. Chocolate cake is not tasty when it's burnt.
While the cake is baking make your icing. In a pan wayyyy smaller than the one I lugged out thinking I'd need the space, melt the butter with the cocoa, milk, vanilla and salt.
Mmmmmm, but no sugar yet so keep that finger out of the pot.
Gradually add in the powdered sugar and stir it in.
Right about now was when I realized the Hershey people meant frosting like thick, spread it on frosting and that's not what I wanted with my zucchini cake.
So I added enough milk to make it the consistency of condensed milk. Pourable but not too runny. Pssst, now you can stick a finger in to taste.
When the cake is done and still hot, pour the icing over the cake and use the spatula to spread it in a thin layer all over the top. Shoooo the hovering children away from the cake while you're at it by saying, "it has zucchini! Step away from the frosting."
Of course that won't do any good and they'll clamor for zucchini cake while it's still warm.
What zucchini? I don't see any zucchini.
Not here . . .
Or here. But I'm nothing if not thorough so I had to keep investigating. You know, for the blog and my credibility.
I can say that I performed a thorough investigation and no zucchini taste or evidence was to be found.