An American friend once explained to me that nobody ever locks their car in her small town… except when it’s zucchini season. Leave your door unlocked then, and you risk coming back to find a crate of zucchini left on your passenger seat.
You see, zucchini plants grow with supernatural vigor, and when harvest season comes around, gardeners are overloaded with their crop, so they’re desperately seeking ways to use it productively.
Chocolate & Zucchini Cake To The Rescue!
And one of the popular uses of a zucchini glut — aside from abandoning it on the steps of the church — is baking quick breads and cakes, including chocolate and zucchini cake, because everything tastes better with chocolate, even zucchini.
I myself did not pick the name of my blog in reference to this cake: I chose it to illustrate the two sides of my culinary personality, my love of fresh, seasonal produce as well as my appreciation for desserts. But knowing about this zucchini baking tradition, I couldn’t not have a Chocolate & Zucchini Cake in my repertoire.
I am not a gardener myself, so I just get my zucchini from the greenmarket, and over the years and the batches, I have tweaked my Chocolate & Zucchini Cake recipe to get it just right for my taste.
It produces a delightfully fluffy cake with a crisp outer crust. The advantage of using grated zucchini in the batter is that it provides extra moisture, allowing you to reduce the overall amount of butter — not that there’s anything wrong with butter, but this cake feels less heavy than most. And there is no way anyone can taste the zucchini in there, as the strands meld with the batter and disappear.
In addition to being a deep and beautiful shade of brown, this chocolate zucchini cake has a voluptuous chocolate flavor. We can thank the cocoa powder and chocolate chunks for that, and also the dash of coffee. This is a trick that my grandmother taught me, and it’s a good one to keep in mind for any chocolate cake; you can’t identify the coffee as such, but it makes the flavor of the chocolate that much more vivid.