Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Courgette chocolate cake

I did it! I actually made a cake with courgettes - otherwise known as zucchini. It's a boring vegetable if you ask me, with no real taste of its own. I guess that's a good thing in SOME ways, but if I come across any mushy pieces of courgette in anything I'm eating, I generally set them to one side under the "ick" category, to be avoided. That said, courgettes dont gross me out the way eggplant/brinjals/aubergines do.

I had a surfeit of courgettes thanks to one of the guys in the office who has a smallholding and grows his own vegetables. He must be a pretty good farmer, because he brought enough courgettes for everybody in the office to have at least 3-4 each. It must be nice growing your own veg... but it needs time and effort. Lucky for my colleague that he only works part-time, so I guess he's got both.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Anyway, after ratatouille one day (forgot to take pix) and courgette-tomato pasta the next, I still had 2 courgettes left and, frankly, I was getting a bit tired of the darn things.

Then while going through my favourite food blogs (as usual), I suddenly remembered "Chocolate & Zucchini"... and that led me to wonder if courgette cake could really be edible. Well, the only way to find out was to make it - and I stuck by my decision despite the barrage of "bleahs" and yarking noises from my colleagues and family. It was a good decision, as it turned out, because the cake was worth it.

I guess the blandness of the courgettes worked in the cake's favour, because it totally took on the flavours of the cocoa and chocolate chunks - so much so, it was easy to forget that there was actual vegetable matter in the cake. All in all, the best way to use up any extra courgettes, in my opinion.

I didnt frost the cake this time, because I used a nut topping. But next time I make this cake, I think I will split it in two (or bake it in two tins) and sandwich it together with chocolate icing - that would be just perfect, methinks.

Recipe for:
Courgette chocolate cake

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1/2 cup plain cocoa powder (I used Cadbury's)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2-1/4 cups brown sugar (I substituted 1 cup Splenda)
1/2 cup soft butter (I used margarine)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups finely grated courgette (I left the skin on)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

For the topping:
1/2 cup mix of chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts, brazil nuts and pecans)
1/4 cup brown sugar - (I prefer not to use Splenda here)

Method:

1. Heat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a 9" round cake tin and dust with cocoa powder.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

3. In a bowl, beat the butter/margarine with the sugar/Splenda until fluffy and light. Add the vanilla extract.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.

5. Reserving 1/2 cup of the flour-cocoa mix, fold in the rest with the egg mixture. The batter will be very thick and difficult to handle, but dont be tempted to add any extra moisture.

6. Once the flour has been incorporated well, toss the grated courgettes and the chocolate chunks with the reserved 1/2 cup flour, then fold it all in. The moisture from the courgettes will make the batter easier to handle.

7. Transfer the batter to the greased and floured baking tin and smooth the top.

8. Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake.

9. Bake for 40-50 minutes or till done (check by inserting a tester or toothpick in 2-3 places to make sure).

10. Take the cake out of the oven but leave it in the tin for 20 minutes. Then unmould and cool completely on a wire rack.

This cake can be split and iced, if desired, and it's also lovely served with chocolate or vanilla icecream.

7 comments:

Mika said...

That sounds delicious Shammi. Great use of boring old zucchini.

shammi said...

I know :) Not an original idea, of course... but I'm pleased I tried it out! :)P

Nupur said...

sounds so good! eat dessert and get ur fiber all at the same time ;)
BTW I got hold of this really yummy zucchini cornbread recipe...will blog about it soon. Another way to use up zucchini u know.

shammi said...

Nupur... will wait for your zucchini cornbread recipe - I LURRVE cornbread :)

T said...

that looks surprisingly good! im not a huge fan of zucchini, but anything chocolate appeals to me :-D

kaleidoscope said...

Zucchini and cake i could never imagine. Look yummy.

eddlane2081 said...

='Brand New News Fr0m The Timber Industry!!'=

========Latest Profile==========
Energy & Asset Technology, Inc. (EGTY)
Current Price $0.045
================================

Recognize this undiscovered gem which is poised to jump!!

Please read the following Announcement in its Entierty and
Consider the Possibilities�
Watch this One to Trad,e!

Because, EGTY has secured the global rights to market
genetically enhanced fast growing, hard-wood trees!

EGTY trading volume is beginning to surge with landslide Announcement.
The value of this Stoc,k appears poised for growth! This one will not
remain on the ground floor for long.

KEEP READING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

===============
"BREAKING NEWS"
===============

-Energy and Asset Technology, Inc. (EGTY) owns a global license to market
the genetically enhanced Global Cedar growth trees, with plans to
REVOLUTIONIZE the forest-timber industry.

These newly enhanced Globa| Cedar trees require only 9-12 years of growth
before they can be harvested for lumber, whereas worldwide growth time for
lumber is 30-50 years.

Other than growing at an astonishing rate, the Global Cedar has a number
of other benefits. Its natural elements make it resistant to termites, and
the lack of oils and sap found in the wood make it resistant to forest fire,
ensuring higher returns on investments.
T
he wood is very lightweight and strong, lighter than Poplar and over twice
as strong as Balsa, which makes it great for construction. It also has
the unique ability to regrow itself from the stump, minimizing the land and
time to replant and develop new root systems.

Based on current resources and agreements, EGTY projects revenues of $140
Million with an approximate profit margin of 40% for each 9-year cycle. With
anticipated growth, EGTY is expected to challenge Deltic Timber Corp. during
its initial 9-year cycle.

Deltic Timber Corp. currently trades at over $38.00 a share with about $153
Million in revenues. As the reputation and demand for the Global Cedar tree
continues to grow around the world EGTY believes additional multi-million
dollar agreements will be forthcoming. The Global Cedar nursery has produced
about 100,000 infant plants and is developing a production growth target of
250,000 infant plants per month.

Energy and Asset Technology is currently in negotiations with land and business
owners in New Zealand, Greece and Malaysia regarding the purchase of their popular
and profitable fast growing infant tree plants. Inquiries from the governments of
Brazil and Ecuador are also being evaluated.

Conclusion:

The examples above show the Awesome, Earning Potential of little
known Companies That Explode onto Investor�s Radar Screens.
This s-t0ck will not be a Secret for long. Then You May Feel the Desire to Act Right
Now! And Please Watch This One Trade!!


GO EGTY!


All statements made are our express opinion only and should be treated as such.
We may own, take position and sell any securities mentioned at any time. Any
statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions,
goals, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, object'ives, assumptions or
future events or perfo'rmance are not
statements of historical fact and may be
"forward,|ooking statements." forward,|ooking statements are based on expectations,
estimates and projections at the time the statements are made that involve a number
of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or events to differ
materially from those presently anticipated. This newsletter was paid $3,000 from
third party (IR Marketing). Forward,|ooking statements in this action may be identified
through the use of words such as: "pr0jects", "f0resee", "expects". in compliance with
Se'ction 17. {b), we disclose the holding of EGTY shares prior to the publication of
this report. Be aware of an inherent conflict of interest resulting from such holdings
due to our intent to profit from the liquidation of these shares. Shar,es may be sold
at any time, even after positive statements have been made regarding the above company.
Since we own shares, there is an inherent conflict of interest in our statements and
opinions. Readers of this publication are cautioned not
to place undue reliance on
forward,|ooking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and expectations
involving various risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially
from those set forth in the forward- looking statements. This is not solicitation to
buy or sell st-0cks, this text is or informational purpose only and you should seek
professional advice from registered financial advisor before you do anything related
with buying or selling st0ck-s, penny st'0cks are very high risk and you can lose your
entire inves,tment.