CHEW THIS! Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache


The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, September 21st 2014 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Moist Chocolate Cake with Unexpected Ingredient
Blaise Doubman

For those who follow me on social media, it’s no secret that I love chocolate and that I love desserts. I am always trying to develop a new recipe that incorporates my love for both and this recipe is no different. The ingredients used are different though when compared to that of a “normal” chocolate cake. Don’t have the use of zucchini scare you away from this recipe! You’ll never know it’s there because you can’t taste it. Why make a cake with zucchini then? Because it makes the cake so moist, you’ll be amazed! And, it will last twice as long as a “regular” scratch made cake! There are still a few Farmer’s Markets (independently and otherwise) open in the New Castle area. Stop and see if they have zucchini – if not, store brought works fine.

Using zucchini in cakes and breads is nothing new to “maintain moisture” but what is new and different with this particular recipe is the addition of instant coffee granules and the chocolate ganache topping. Adding coffee to anything chocolate (in small amounts) will add a certain flavor (not necessarily a coffee flavor) that will make the chocolate taste more like chocolate. The ganache topping really sets the cake over the top and provides a thick chocolaty topping that’s so simple you won’t believe it!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Ganache

This cake will last up to five days without losing moisture when kept in the refrigerator. It is the perfect dessert to “make ahead” because the longer it sits, the better the flavor! When shredding the zucchini, a kitchen box grater works the best. Make sure and use the “smallest” grating feature on the box. Also remember to not peel the zucchini – chop off a little on both ends and grate the skin and all. Also make sure all ingredients are at room temperature – an important rule when baking. Coating the chocolate chips with flour will prevent them from “sinking” to the bottom of the cake.

For the cake…
1 stick of butter (4 oz.)
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ¾ cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
½ cup chocolate chips (mixed with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour)

For the ganache…
1 cup chocolate chips
¾ cup heavy whipping cream

Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F and lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl cream together butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, instant coffee granules, ground cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Once creamed, stir in eggs one at a time and then add the sour cream.

Next, add the cocoa powder and flour and stir well to combine.

Fold in the shredded zucchini and the flour-coated chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

To prepare the ganache, place the heavy whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir in chocolate chips. Stir until smooth, microwaving another 30 seconds if necessary.

Pour the warm ganache over the cake and spread evenly. Immediately place in the refrigerator for ganache to set up. Remove and cut when ready to serve.


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