The day started off well enough. The weather was sunny and crisp, my hubby home from an overseas trip and nothing to worry about other than our endless house renovations. My two beloveds, Ruben and Ella were booked into the vet for a teeth clean. No biggie.
By the afternoon, however, Ruben was being kept overnight at the vet with acute renal whatever. My baby. My gorgeous velvet slug whose nocturnal snoring always lulls me into my own slumber. Ruben, whose garbage breath wakes me in the morning as he yawns in my face, “get up, it’s breakfast time.”
As a fussing puppy mother, I wanted my boy home with me. Surely no-one would take care of him as I would. BUT, sometimes you have to have a little faith. Faith that someone else can do the job and may indeed, be better equipped than you.
And so, my boy is home. Someone else nursed him back to us. Faith.
You’ll need a little of that faith for this recipe. It will work out. You won’t even know there’s zucchini in it and you will love it. Enjoy.
On the playlist, a little nostalgia. Hands – Jewel, Venus as a Boy – Bjork, The Wolves – Bon Iver, Cannonball – Damien Rice. I admit, there is no rhyme or reason to this selection. In my defence, I spent the day fussing, so…
2 cups of plain flour
3/4 quarters cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups natural sugar – if you don’t have it, use white, I just prefer natural
1 1/2 cups rice bran oil – canola is fine
a pinch of salt
3 cups of grated zucchini (I used 2 large zucchinis and that was more than enough)
1/2 cup pecans (optional) You can use walnuts if you like, I find them a little bitter for my taste
4 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 170 C. Grease a cake pan – I used an 8 x 3 inch round cake tine. If you have another, a slice pan would do, you may have to adjust your cooking time.
Sift together your dry ingredients, excluding the nuts in a large bowl. Add your eggs, vanilla and oil and nuts, if you are using them, mix to combine. Add grated zucchini and again combine. The batter is thick and a little sticky – a little like a brownie batter.
Pour your batter in to your cake pan and bake for around 1 hour. At this time, check the middle with a skewer. It may need a little longer. I baked my last cake for 1 hour and 15 mins, but it was a deep tin.
This cake is moist, chocolatey and so delicious it doesn’t need icing. BUT, if you must, as I always do…
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 big handful of chocolate bits – I don’t measure, sorry – I just use as much as I can get in my mitt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
Wait until the cake is cooled to begin.
Heat sweetened condensed milk and chocolate together in a saucepan on low heat, stirring to combine. After a few minutes it will begin to thicken slightly. Take the pan off the heat. At this point, add salt and vanilla and stir. Leave for about 3 minutes to cool slightly and you will have a decadent, thick icing. Slather. And I mean slather. This stuff is from the gods.
No-one will ever guess that the secret ingredient in this cake is zucchini. Cut a HUGE slice and run to the couch. Remember, the last one there does the dishes.