cake

(Wheat-free & Gluten-free) Chocolate Zucchini Cake

It's still chocolate and zucchini season, so after scoring a hefty dark green beauty, I stayed in on a Saturday night and made this delicious cake. (Really, I had every opportunity to go out, but I wanted to stay in and bake ;-) Like my Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake, it's a variation of my grandma's super-rich traditional recipe, which I've updated to be wheat-free (+ gluten-free) and lower in refined ingredients, sugar and fat. This version is moist, rich and airy with a delicate blend of aromatic ingredients + extra chocolate.

Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Enjoy ♥ 

(Healthy) Chocolate Zucchini Cake

In late summer and early fall, my mom would have giant zucchinis from her garden - they were often comically large and obscenely shaped. Us kids weren't really into veggies, especially giant green ones, so my mom would make these into rich chocolate zucchini cakes. The recipe she used was my Ukrainian grandma's recipe: a lovely moist chocolatey cake with a hint of spice. We loved it.

When I got older, I scored the recipe from my mom, and after looking it over, decided that it needed a bit of a (healthy) makeover. (Her recipe used 1 3/4c white sugar, white flour, and over 1c of fat - yikes!) Being the health-conscious sweet-loving young woman that I was, I altered the recipe to make it as healthy as possible, while still being loyal to the delicious flavours and texture.

The recipe I came up with uses whole ingredients, a lot less sugar and fat (over half as much! don't worry, the zucchini keeps things moist) - and more chocolate, spice and vanilla. I've had this recipe for years, and just remembered that I didn't share it yet, so voila!

Recipe Remix: Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake

These days I'm working on a gluten-free version of this recipe. My current tastes are a bit richer than they were a few years ago, so the new recipe will have a bit more fat and chocolate...

Happy healthy baking :-)

PS - Do you have a favourite chocolate zucchini cake recipe? Gluten-free?

UPDATE: Here's my Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake!

Tiny recipes on Twitter

Maureen from San Francisco came up with the great idea of posting super tiny condensed recipes to Twitter like:

Chocolate Cake: melt c choc/6T butter; +5T h2o&flour&cocoa.
Beat silky 8T sugar/2egg. Fold all in sml grsd pan. 40m@350F in 2nd pan hot h2o.

Brilliant :-)

happy birthday to me!


it's my birthday!

Just returned from fabulous Mexico - and it was just my birthday too :-) Here's the beautiful cake I made for the occasion: a superb Mexican Dark Chocolate Torte with Honey Vanilla Marshmallow Icing. The cake was a hit: striking and delicious.

Curious about the shirt? So was I when I bought it in the Mayan town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, not knowing anything about Maria Sabina other than she was obviously an important woman... actually she was a shaman!

Panforte

Panforte cross-section
a chocolate version of the famous Italian fruitcake: Panforte

Yes - it's the holiday season. I've been busy making super-rich frighteningly tasty treats including my own version of the amazing sweet/spicy/chewy/bitter/nutty Italian cake/confection panforte (aka Sienna cake).

Some inspiring recipes for panforte:

I've read slightly different historical accounts of panforte - here's the Wikipedia's most recent write-up:

"Panforte is a traditional Italian dessert containing fruits and nuts, and resembling fruitcake or Lebkuchen. It may date back to 13th century Siena, in Italy's Tuscany region. Documents from 1205 show that Panforte was paid to the monks and nuns of a local monastery as a tax or tithe which was due on the seventh of February that year. Literally, Panforte means "strong bread" which refers to the spicy flavour. The original name of Panforte was "panpepato" (pepper bread), due to the strong pepper used in the cake. There are references to the Crusaders carrying Panforte, a durable confection, with them on their quests."

Currently there are many shops in Italy producing Panforte, each recipe being their jealously guarded interpretation of the original confection and packaged in distinctive wrapping. Usually a small wedge is served with coffee or a dessert wine after a meal, though some enjoy it with their coffee at breakfast."

(more history here)

ps - panforte is really really sweet so consume in moderation ;-)

Stuffing and Cake

Lauren's Vanilla Dark Chocolate Sour Cherry Soy Cake

Regarding the large batch of cornbread I made for turkey stuffing the other day...

We ended up having to get 2 free-range chickens instead of a turkey - not too much room inside these guys for the amount of stuffing we ended up making. There was a lot of stuffing: I think there was enough to feed about 15 people. It did turn out great and everyone brought leftovers home. Not super healthy, but super tasty! and perfect for a special occasion.

I've cut the recipe in half, and have included directions for the larger version, as well as a vegetarian stovetop version: Pecan Cornbread Stuffing

Besides the succulent chickens (thanks Crispin!), we also enjoyed lovely wines, amazing cheeses, Czech salad (thanks Michelle and Ryan!), mashed maple sweet potatoes, and a beautiful delicious cake (thanks Lauren!). It was a vanilla, sour-cherry dark chocolate cake made with soy beans from her parent's farm, topped with warm dark chocolate sauce and fresh raspberries: awesome!