Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake | Finland

15 August 2014

We are currently in the middle of a courgette glut. They've been roasted, grilled, stir fried and grated into salads. The kids are on summer holidays and that means that I am constantly being asked for food, so I baked (not for the first time) this Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake. I like it served as a pudding too; perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some strawberries. I like to think, that for a cake, it's a little bit virtuous.
The recipe comes from my now sticky and page-splattered copy of The Kinfolk Table: Recipes for Small Gatherings. Below is the original recipes, which I have followed with much success, however I have more recently made the tiniest of tweaks by grating the courgette rather than chopping it. It disguises the healthy bit from little eyes. If you do go down this road, grate the courgette into a clean tea towel and ring out any water before adding. The recipe makes a big cake - perfect for a crowd. But if you have no crowd to feed, just split the mixture between two tins and make two smaller cakes. On this occasion, I wrapped up the second one for my cake-loving neighbour and made his day, but it can also be frozen.

We're off on our summer holidays at the weekend. Our destination of choice this year, Finland, may not be the most typical place for a summer break, but we can't wait! We're going to be staying in a friend's family summer house just outside Helsinki. With pine trees and a lake as neighbours it should be the restful break we all need. When we want to see a bit of life, just 30 mins in the car takes us to Helsinki - we have loads of places we want to visit and things we want to experience and, of course, there could well be a couple of blog posts born there too. 

Chocolate Chip Zuchini Cake

355g plain flour
20g natural cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ ground cinnamon
½ ground clove
115g butter or margarine, at room temperature
120ml vegetable oil
12 oz caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
120ml buttermilk
1tsp vanilla extract
340g zucchini / courgette finely diced (or grated)
170g chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 160℃ / 325℉. Grease the inside of a 33 x 23 cm baking pan and line the base with baking paper.

Combine the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves in a medium bowl and set aside.

Beat the butter or margarine, oil and sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on a medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and beat until just combined.

Reduce the mixer speed to low, add half of the flour mixture, and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat for 5 more seconds.

Stir in the zucchini and half the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate chips.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour. Serve will a dollop of good vanilla ice cream.

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