Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cake

by Lauren Kay Weber

I’ve done a lot of what my father would call “putzing around” lately.  I’ve healed really quickly from the childbirth.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that I’ve been taking it so easy has helped me heal quickly.  I’ve really only left the house for little excursions that are significant and that are either medically necessary or make me feel like my life isn’t quite so disparate from my previous non-babied life.  One of those normalizing excursions was going to my favorite farmer’s market in Provo this past Thursday.

The farmer’s markets here in Utah are finally, finally filling up with produce instead of crafts. I really love Utah in August for just this reason. Josh, Asher and I strolled through the market, trying to find the vendors who had the best deals on our lusted-after favorites:  beets, zucchini, tomatoes, plums. And for the second week in a row, we were able to score massive zucchinis – literally the size of my child – for 75 cents apiece. 

What. 

So, my in-laws are notorious for having super sweet tooths. Like, eat toffee as an appetizer for fudge kind of a sweet tooth. No judgment here. But still, that’s not exactly how we roll chez Weber.  Sure, Josh has some ice cream in the freezer, but it’s really rare that an ice cream dessert turns into warm-brownie-with-ice-cream-and-hot-fudge these days.  

Hence, triple chocolate zucchini cake. 

Triple Chocolate Cake with Easy, Easy, Easy Ganache

Zucchini is definitely the star of the dish in that it composes about half the batter and it keeps this cake so moist, even days later. 

Triple Chocolate Cake with Easy, Easy, Easy Ganache

And the triple chocolate?  What’s that about?  How about a Dutch process cocoa batter, dotted with Hershey’s Special Dark  chocolate chunks (chopped up by yours truly for perfectly over-sized chunks) and then topped with the easiest, dark chocolate-iest ganache you ever will see?  Oh yeah, I went there. 

The result is a slightly dense, but also incredibly fluffy cake flecked with melts chocolate hot spots and a not-too-sweet take on chocolate cake. 

Triple Chocolate Cake with Easy, Easy, Easy Ganache

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Easy Ganache
cake recipe adapted from zucchini bread recipe found here

CAKE

2 eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Morena sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed to remove some but not all of the water
1 1/2 cups hand chopped dark chocolate bits

GANACHE

1 tub of Duncan Hines frosting starter
2 cups unsweetened baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ round cake pan dusted with granulated sugar to ensure easy release of the cake.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (if available), beat eggs, syrup, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Incorporate salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and flour. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chunks.  Your batter should go from slightly thick and pasty to a much wetter batter that pours easily.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 65 minutes, until the surface, when press lightly, springs back. 
Cool completely before pouring the ganache over the surface.

For the ganache, scoop the entire contents of the frosting starter into a sauce pan. Turn the burner on medium low. Stir in milk and vanilla extract. As that mixture heats up and smooths out, slowly whisk in cocoa powder. Allow to cool slightly before pouring over the cake. The final consistency of the ganache should somewhere between a liquid and a solid.

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