“People don’t lock the doors to their houses, and the only reason they lock their cars is, in August, to keep neighbors from putting zucchini in the back seat.”
— Ted Kooser, Local Wonders

Watercolor sketch of zucchini

Another view -- watercolor sketch of zucchini

Alas, August has passed and no one’s been sneaking zucchini onto my porch or car — so I had to buy a couple at the farmers’ market.  I’ve been hanging on to a recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake that I saw in July at http://lickthebowlgood.blogspot.com/2011/07/cake-slice-rebellion.html. I was looking forward to trying it.

From vegetable to dessert

I made half a recipe in a loaf pan because I was baking for just my husband and me.  The cake is really delicious, especially when served with coffee almond fudge ice cream!  I’ve copied the recipe below for your convenience.

Tastes wonderful served with coffee almond fudge ice cream!

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake (from Cake Keeper Cakes and uploaded by Monica H at www.lickthebowlgood.blogspot.com)

●1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa (plus more for dusting the pan)

●1/2 cup sour cream

●3 large eggs

●2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

●2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

●2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

●1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

●1 teaspoon salt

●2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

●3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

●1 cup granulated sugar

●1 cup packed light brown sugar

●2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini

●1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

●1 cups sliced almonds, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with unsweetened cocoa powder or spray liberally with nonstick spray.

Whisk together the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla in a large glass measuring cup and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder in a medium bowl and set aside.

Combine the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.

With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add 1/2 of the sour cream mixture. Repeat alternating flour and sour cream mixtures and end with the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary between additions.

Stir in the zucchini, chocolate chips and nuts, if using.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean, 45 to 50 minutes.  Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Slice and serve.

Apple Bounty

October 9, 2010

Watercolor sketches of windfallen apples

Apple Pie Coffee Cake

It’s the time of year when I try to find ways to use windfallen apples.  We’ve already eaten several apple pies this season.  For something new, I tried this recipe for Apple Pie Coffee Cake from Bread for Breakfast by Beth Hensperger.  I served it for dessert, not breakfast, with ice cream on a dollop of caramel.

Apple Pie Coffee Cake

2 large eggs
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 c sugar
1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice or nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 c peeled, cored, and thinly sliced firm tart apples
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees if using a Pyrex or dark-finish pie plate).  Grease a 10-inch pie plate.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar, beating with a wooden spoon until thick, about 1 minute.  Add the flour, baking powder, spices and salt.  Beat vigorously until the batter has a crumbly consistency, about 1 minute.  Fold in the apples and mix until the apples are evenly coated and the batter becomes moist and smooth.  There will be lots of apples, held together by a relatively stiff batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the top evenly with the turbinado sugar.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes until the center is firm when gently pressed.  Remove from the oven and cool at least 1 hour before serving.

Apple Pie Coffee Cake served for dessert

Seasonal Berries

June 20, 2010

Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Cake

Who can resist eating seasonally when it’s berry time! 

I recently came across a cake recipe that used strawberries and raspberries.  But what appealed to me was that this was a coconut cake.  When I saw this magic combination of ingredients, I resolved to try the recipe.  It was as good as it sounded.  I think it would also make a delicious and fancy coffee cake for breakfast.

You can find the recipe at http://www.heyladygrey.com/2010/06/raspberry-strawberry-coconut-cake.html#more, but I’ll reproduce it for you here as well:

Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Cake
1/2 cup butter, soft
1 1/4 cup sugar (I used 1 cup)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup strawberries, quartered
1 cup raspberries (use frozen or fresh – but put in freezer for 10 minutes before mixing in, so they retain their shape).
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch cake pan.
Beat the butter & sugar until creamy. Then beat in the eggs & milk.
Mix the dry ingredients, and gently mix into the wet.
Very gently fold in the strawberries and frozen raspberries.
Spoon batter into cake pan and bake for 1 -1.5 hours, until an inserted cake tester/toothpick comes out clean.

Ingredients for the cake

Chilled, rimed raspberries

Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Cake lightly dusted with powdered sugar

Gingerbread Cake

December 8, 2009

Gingerbread cake ready for the oven

Fresh, warm gingerbread cake and coffee

We’ve been having cold, frosty mornings, and I had a craving for gingerbread to go with my morning coffee.  I found this recipe online at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/gingerbread-cake-recipe/index.html.

Gingerbread Cake
from the Food Network Kitchen

Ingredients

 Softened unsalted butter, as needed, to grease pan.

  • 1 cup vegetable oil, like soy, peanut, or corn
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Serving suggestions: Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Lightly butter the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch cake pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, molasses, and crystallized ginger. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Whisk the molasses mixture into the flour mixture until evenly combined.

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Whisk the hot water into the batter until just combined. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake in the center of the oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Fall Harvest Cake

November 13, 2009

IMG_3670

Fall Harvest Cake from Hobby Farm Home

IMG_3672

Fall Harvest Cake with whipped cream topping

This week I’ve enjoyed two days off in a row, and that put me in the mood for baking.  The lemon bars I made on Wednesday disappeared too quickly, so I made another dessert from a recipe I found in the Fall 2008 edition of Hobby Farm Home magazine.

Fall Harvest Cake
from Hobby Farm Home magazine, Fall 2008

1-1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 c oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
16 oz pumpkin
2 c flour
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 c pecans

Mix ingredients together and pour into a greased and floured Bundt pan.  Bake 60 to 70 minutes at 350 degrees until done.