Okay, so for my next post I had been planning to wax poetic about how wonderful Brooklyn is, and how sad I am to be leaving this beautiful borough in the fall for the hot, humid, charmless city of Washington D.C. (Not that Brooklyn isn’t hot and humid, or occasionally disagreeable. Especially on a day like today, when my hair starts to frizz before I’ve even stepped out of the shower.)
But then this cake happened. Gloriously dense and moist and chocolate-y and delicious. Here it is in cupcake form:
And here in bundt cake form, unglazed:
Not much of a looker, is it? But watch when you smother it in melted chocolate glaze…
Now that is worth slaving over a hot stove in an already 95 degree kitchen for. (No air-conditioning in Brooklyn. Definitely something I won't miss in the fall!)
This cake tastes ridiculously moist and indulgent, especially when you load it up with twice as many chocolate chips as the original recipe calls for. But it actually isn’t nearly as bad for you as it seems at first bite. The secret lies in the two cups of grated zucchini that get mixed into the batter. By far the best two cups of vegetable I’ve ever eaten. The other secret is the spices—cinnamon and nutmeg. Also a teaspoon of coffee grinds. Also chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.
Here is the recipe, slightly adapted from Clotilde Dusoulier:
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coffee grinds
3 large eggs
2 cups unpeeled grated zucchini, from about 1 1/2 medium zucchini (keep the remaining 1/2 zucchini for optional garnish)
1 (or 2, if you’re crazy as I am) cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a bundt pan with butter.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar till smooth, then add the vanilla, coffee granules, and eggs, mixing well between each addition.
3. Reserve a cup of the flour mixture and add the rest to the egg mixture. Mix until just combined; the batter will be thick.
4. Add the zucchini and chocolate chips to the reserved flour mixture and toss to coat. Fold into the batter and blend with a wooden spoon—don't overmix. Pour into the prepared cake pan and level the surface with a spatula.
5. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the pan to loosen the cake, and invert over a large plate.
6. For glaze, gently melt chocolate chips and cream over low heat, stirring briskly till smooth. Allow glaze to cool, then drizzle over cake. This cake is best eaten the day it’s made.