Monday, May 24, 2010

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake

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!

Bon appetite!


Heavenly Housewife said...

Based on the ingredients, and on the delicious picture, I can tell that this would taste fab. I am a huge fan of oil based cakes (rather than butter) because it creates the most wonderfully moist and fluffy texture.
I hope you got a slice left for me!
*kisses* HH

stephchows said...

wow that is a lot of chocolate LOL but mmmm mmmm mmmmmmm!!!

Jenn@slim-shoppin said...

I wonder if you could make those into muffins? Have you ever tried that?

For me, it would be better portion control! The cake looks awesome!

pixelgal said...

I'm running out to buy a zucchini and try this. I don't have whole wheat pastry flour so I may substitute (ack!) white flour. Will this be another Cotswold Savory or might it work? It sure looks good. Guess if you wanted to be really good (I don't) you could eliminate the frosting. The cake probably tastes good on its own.

Mo Diva said...

wow i hope you saved me a slice!
I love when there are healthy things in my sweets but I cant tell! its a sneaky way to get in those veggies!

The Diva on a Diet said...

HH - I've got more than 3/4 of the pan left ... so c'mon over! :)

Steph - you're right, it IS a lot of chocolate. The recipe called for 3 cups of the chips total ... but in all honestly, you could cut down on the amount used for the frosting and not miss it.

Jenn - this was the firs time I've made the recipe, but I'm definitely planning on using it for muffins in the future - minus the frosting. I know they'll be delicious!

pixelgal - you should be fine with the white flour, I prefer the WW pastry flour but there's no reason to buy it if you're not going to use it. Again, you could cut down on the chocolate topping ... but I don't want to either! Let me know how it goes!

Mo - you can't really tell its there at all, but it does add something nice to the texture. There's plenty leftover so feel free to drop in! :)

Mary said...

I can just imagine how moist and delicious this cake is. As for the chocolate, the more the better :-). I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Rose Whisperer said...

This recipe looks too darn sinfully good to be healthy! I'm lovin' it! ... thanks for sharing ... Stacey

Julie said...

Yowzer! Sign me up for a piece of that!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Mary - thank you! I hope you are having a wonderful day too and return the blessings multiplied! :)

Rose Whisperer - I suppose we can't call it 100% healthy, but that zucchini's got to count for something, right?! Thanks so much and thanks for popping into the comments today too! :)

Julie - Thanks you! Take two slices, just because! :)

Foodessa said...

I'll certainly keep this recipe close...especially when my father-in-law loads me up with zucchini galore. Thankfully, I still have time to pick up great recipes until then.
BTW...I really like the fact that you spiced the cake up a little more ;o)
Thank you for sharing and flvourful wishes, Claudia

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks said...

I love chocolate and zucchini. But you really piqued my interest when you added Chinese 5 Spice. Will save for a summer/fall recipe when those zuchs finally come in.

Laura said...

To my eternal shame and horror, I, an Alaska Organic Master Gardener CAN"T GROW ZUCCHINI!! I fixed that this year though, this year I plant like 20 of the damn things. And they will grow and burden me with zucchini, or else!

Thanks for linking to "Just Another Meatless Monday" Hope to see you next week!

Momgateway said...

what a creative way to sneak in some veggies in cake

Daily Spud said...

Oh wow, I am bookmarking this for when that zucchini excess hits, if not before!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Hey, Diva, did you want some chocolate with that cake? LOL That said, I love it--wow! And this is in the Flat Belly Cookbook? Clearly I have misinterpreted the content of that cookbook.


The Diva on a Diet said...

Foodessa - thanks, and welcome to Beach Eats! Looking forward to checking out your blog as well! :)

Andrea - thank you too! And, if you decide to make the cake, feel free to bump up the 5 Spice Powder. I love it so much I put it in practically everything ... but I went a bit easy on it here. :)

Laura - that IS hard to believe! Maybe the conditions in Alaska aren't really conducive to zucchini? I sure wouldn't know ... I have a black thumb! LOL But here's hoping you'll reap a bountiful crop this year!

Momegateway - thanks and welcome to you too! It is rather sneaky, isn't it? ;)

Daily Spud - you many not want to wait for the harvest ... its good enough to go out and buy some zucchini ... like I did. Thank you!!!

Shirley - I know, how funny is it that this recipe comes from a "diet" cookbook. I should probably explain that the flat belly diet concerns itself with eating sufficient amounts of mono-unsaturated fats ... including dark chocolate.

I'm not following this diet, but I do like the cookbook and really like this cake! LOL

Fresh Local and Best said...

Hey, do you have any leftovers? I'm comin' over! :-)
I love the way the chocolate frosting glistens in picture. And I like your addition of the sweet spices, it's not often that I see someone add Chinese five spice.

The Duo Dishes said...

Yes yes and yes. This is just the way to justify eating vegetables and chocolate together.

Deb said...

This is the only way to use zucchini in my opinion. As a veggie I've always found it lacking in flavor and it cooks much to quickly, turning to mush. Now zucchini and chocolate are right up my alley!

Sophie said...

A lovely & fabulously looking flavoured cake!! I so love the 5 spice & zucchin in here!

Another lovely recipe of yours to try!