You may want to file this recipe away for use later this summer, when your garden overflows with zucchini. Then again, this cake is so good, you may not want to wait.
If you're in the mood for a rich, moist, chocolaty extravaganza - this is the cake for you. And, bonus, you can count it as a vegetable! Well, not really, but you will have the added benefit of some nutritious zucchini to off-set your indulgence. I'd say that's a good deal; a very good deal, indeed!
I've adapted this recipe from The Flat Belly Diet Cookbook and I'm well pleased with the results. I've added some cinnamon and Chinese Five Spice powder to bump up the flavor, reduced the amount of oil, and altered slightly the composition of the flour. This is a quick, nutritious and wholesome splurge that's sure to satisfy even the most dedicated chocoholic.
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake:
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (@ one large zucchini)
- 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided in half
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F and coat an 11'" x 8" baking pan with a light coating of butter or oil. (I did not have a pan this size, so I used a 9" x 9" glass baking pan and it worked just fine. Adjust the baking time accordingly depending on your pan size.)
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and Chinese Five Spice Powder, whisk well to combine and reserve.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, yogurt, oil and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the shredded zucchini until combined, then stir in 1 1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips.
4. Add the reserved flour mixture, by thirds, to the zucchini mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake in the middle of a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on pan size, or until lightly browned and cooked throughout. The cake is finished when a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (If you're using the 9 x 9 inch pan, the cake will need to bake for approximately 40 minutes. Less time will be needed for the 11 x 8.)
5. Remove cake from the oven and immediately sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips over the top of cake. (Pictured above.) Allow the chips to sit for a minute or two, until softened and melty. Spread the melted chips in an even layer across the top of cake to form frosting. Allow the frosted cake to cool for at least 45 minutes, prior to serving, so they frosting will set.
This cake comes together in a hurry - I'd say 15 minutes of mixing time - so its every bit as easy as making a boxed cake and its healthier to boot! Waiting for the frosting to set is the most difficult part of the operation. You'll need at least 45 minutes and even then, the chocolate will be runny. Once the cake has cooled entirely, the chocolate will firm up a bit, but will remain rich and creamy. Unused portions can be saved at room temperature or in the fridge, just be sure to cover tightly with some plastic wrap or foil.
The Greek yogurt and zucchini combine to lend the finished cake a wonderfully creamy texture and it is surprisingly moist. I like the flavor so well, I might even be inclined to skip the frosting and bake off the batter in the form of muffins next time. Stay tuned.
I'm submitting this recipe to Hey What's for Dinner Mom's Just Another Meatless Monday feature. Be sure to stop by Laura's place today and check-out the other meatless offerings!