Sunday, September 2, 2012
Cocoa-Zucchini Cake w Brown Sugar Glaze
I am late night baking. My house smells amazing, and only partly due to a brand new candle I picked out at Pier 1 today. I also picked up a new cake stand (see above). We have been go - go - go for weeks and tonight is the first non-work day where I've found myself at home with an open evening. I've been planning on baking this cake for a few days now. We were gifted a beautiful garden zucchini and I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it. I grew up with my mom baking chocolate zucchini bread and I have always LOVED it. Although this isn't the same recipe my mom bakes from it still reminds me of home.
Speaking of home, I have some exciting news. Scott and I made an offer on a house. Right now we are at the wait-and-see part of the process but I am hopeful and spending a lot of time thinking about creating a home with my favorite guy. This is a big step and one that we've been talking about for most of the summer. If all goes well we'll find ourselves in a new space before winter sets in. Buying a house locks us into a location for a few years but it grants us so much freedom with how we live our lives. I won't have to worry anymore about using a jewelry hammer past 10pm! And I'll be able to dance around with my loved ones without worrying about pounding on someone else's ceiling. And I'll have my very own garden in my very own yard! These are dreams, people. Dreams made real.
I found this cake recipe in a book from the library, The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food, by Ian Knauer. (page 132) The recipe that follows is mostly accurate to the recipe in the book. I've made some changes.
2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch-process)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup regular sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup water
1 medium zucchini, grated
Heat oven to 350.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Mix and set aside.
In a mixer bowl, combine butter and sugar and allow to blend completely. Add 1 egg at a time and allow to combine. Add vanilla. Add half the flour mixture and then 1 cup water, and then the rest of the flour mixture.
Turn off the mixer and fold in the zucchini.
Pour the batter into prepared pan. I used a 9" springform pan, buttered lightly.
Bake the cake for about an hour and than start testing for crumb. My cake took 1 hour and 20 minutes to bake thoroughly.
Set cake on cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
I also made a brown sugar glaze for this cake. Courtesy of Martha Stewart.
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons half and half *use heavy cream instead if you have it!
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a small saucepan set to medium heat: melt butter and sugar, stir til combined. Add half and half and vanilla. Bring to a boil and then set aside. Allow to thicken and then pour onto cake. *If your glaze doesn't appear to be thickening well allow it to cool a little more. You can always add a very small amount of cornstarch to aid the texture as well.