Chocolate Zucchini Cake + Shrimp Boil

Getting an elementary art room ready has been consuming all my time here lately.  Case in point, this post deals with events 2 weekends ago.  We had a gathering at our house to celebrate family from afar, from from nearby, and a friend who will be moving back to her home afar.  

Cooking for 10 can be tricky, but I pulled out the trusty shrimp boil.  I used Martha Stewart’s shrimp boil because I love her spice bundle for this recipe.

The spices are laid out on cheesecloth and then rolled with a rolling pin.  I just thought they looked gorgeous. The flavor was complex and complemented the shrimp, potatoes, and Adel sweet corn well.  The spices were good enough I could have drank the broth for a meal.

 These two photos just make me smile.

It was so nice to see everyone together from the west coast to the Midwest to Japan – even 2 of the 3 goofy animals were included!

We had dessert and naturally I continued my zucchini recipe binge.  I figured out a sweet and chocolately way to use up zucchini – Zucchini Chocolate Cake from King Arthur.  I did swap out and substitute a few things, see below for the less dairy & less sugar version.

I went for a dark chocolate version with no milk or butter and Truvia Stevia blend instead of refined white sugar.  

This cake was so moist and aside from that little white seed that is visible in the bottom left corner, you would never know that there is zucchini in this cake!

Zucchini Chocolate Cake 

1) Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.

2) In a large mixing bowl, beat together 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) margarine1/2 cup vegetable oil, ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons Truvia Baking Blend, 1 teaspoons vanilla, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt until smooth.

3) Beat in 2 large eggs.

4) Stir in the ½ cup almond buttermilk (place 1 tablespoon lemon juice in measuring cup and fill to ½ cup with almond milk, allow to sit for a few minutesalternately with 2 ½ cups flour.

5) Add ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa and 2 teaspoons espresso powder, mixing until smooth.

6) Fold in 3 cups shredded zucchini (about 1-10″ zucchini) and 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

7) Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top springs back lightly when touched, and it seems set.

8) To ice the cake: Slide the cake out of the oven, sprinkle it evenly with the 1 cup dark chocolate chips, and return it to the oven for 5 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

9) Remove the cake from the oven, and use a cake spatula or rubber spatula to spread the chocolate chips into a smooth glaze. Cool on a rack.

Yield: 24 servings.

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