Monday, August 25, 2008

The best cake I've ever had

I hosted a dinner party last night and at the end of the evening announced that I had made Chocolate Zucchini Cake for dessert. I asked if anybody wanted some, and the responses were varied. "Oooh, yeah, I love zucchini," and "not if it tastes like it sounds."

The cake went over very well, even with one dinner guest announcing that it was the best cake he'd ever had. The zucchini makes the cake very moist, and you can even justify eating it because there are vegetables in it (wink, wink).

Try it out and enjoy! Oh, and I'd recommend serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream - it's the perfect complement to this chocolatey treat!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (about 2 1/2 medium)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter and oil in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions each. Mix in grated zucchini. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan.

Top each piece of cake with a spoonful of chocolate ganache. To make the ganache, heat 1 cup of heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Poor the cream over 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir until melted completely.

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