This has been the longest winter ever. Even though we're in the last week of March, Mama Nature decided to dump a blizzard on us. For the first time this year, I didn't make it to work today due to weather. Even after our dear neighbor got his snowblower out in the early morning hours and cleared our driveway, the streets were still packed full of snow and I just wasn't going to chance it.
Let's play Spot The Snowblowing Neighbor. See him?
Yes, we are very lucky to live in a neighborhood with such kind-hearted people.
So when it snows, I bake. And when I have spring fever, I start digging in the freezer for a bite of last season's garden produce. A-ha! The last bag of shredded zucchini. My precious...
Chocolate zucchini cake is about as Dakotan a dessert as you can get. Why do we adore this cake? Let us count the ways:
1. No mixer needed, just grab your favorite bowl and a wooden spoon.
2. It includes zucchini and lots of it, a locally abundant vegetable that happens to be nutritious.
3. It includes chocolate and lots of it, which also happens to be nutritious according to WebMD. And we all know that WebMD wouldn't lead us astray, right?
BTW - I can't end this post without mentioning the lovely French food blog Chocolate and Zucchini. I've never been to the Eiffel Tower, but after clicking through a few photos in the C&Z picture gallery, I can close my eyes and imagine myself at a Parisienne sidewalk cafe, hearing coffee cups clink against saucers while the scent of fresh baguette wafts through the air.
I'm all about cheap thrills.
Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
6 oz. melted dark chocolate
3 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugars, cocoa, coffee granules, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, oil, applesauce and melted chocolate; mix well. Place zucchini in a colander and squeeze out some of the moisture with a paper towel. Fold zucchini into batter along with nuts until evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely. Chocolate frosting optional.