Ciao Italia Blog Exclusive: Let Them Eat (Zucchini) Cake

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Zucchini CakeI once owned a t-shirt that said, "Nuke the Zuke." We grew such enormous zucchini that my neighbors locked their doors when they saw me lumbering up to their driveways with club-sized veggies.

Like I've said, this year, my garden is producing a banner crop, too. This is surprising because nothing else is doing well due to the wretched weather we have had. I suppose I should be happy that when mother nature hands you zucchini there is always something to do with it, and I have tried all sorts of recipes to use up these prolific plants.

I have turned them into zucchini stew, fritters, fries, salads, soup, muffins, crepes, pancakes, bread, stir fry, and as a desperate last resort, chocolate zucchini cake. I didn't tell anyone that zucchini was in the cake. I just waited for their reactions. Seconds, anyone?

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350F

Spray a 9x13 inch rectangular pan or a 9x12 inch round cake pan and set aside

3/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cubs unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate

In a large bowl, beat together the olive oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the olive oil mixture and combine well. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate.

Pour into baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a cake skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.

Cool on rack. Remove from mold and dust with confectioners sugar or confectioners sugar glaze.

Variations: chopped pecans, coconut or candied ginger are also good in this cake.

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