Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Zucchini for Dessert?

I don't know about you, but I really enjoy zucchini. It is not everyone's favorite, but I like it because it is very versatile and quick to prepare. I love it steamed with some Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper on top, roasted in the oven with some olive oil and bread crumbs, or sautéed with garlic and herbs. It seems to go well with any meat or poultry and this time of year it is very easy to find in grocery stores, farmers markets, or from a co-worker's (like my current supply!) or your own garden.

What about zucchini and chocolate??? Not your usual pairing for sure! The other day I came across a website called Chocolate & Zucchini, and I was immediately curious. The creator of the website is a woman from Paris, France named Clotilde Dusoulier and she has even published a book called Chocolate & Zucchini. I love anything from Paris, so I quickly subscribed to her newsletter. She has many tantalizing recipes (that do not include zucchini or chocolate) and after some searching I did actually find a recipe for a chocolate and zucchini cake!

Now, I LOVE dessert. It is my favorite part of the meal. That may be a surprise coming from a dietitian, but it is true- especially chocolate and particularly cake desserts! I am not usually a huge fan of vegetables for dessert at all,but I reviewed Clotilde's recipe and it sounded very good. I was interested in trying it, but I do not particularly enjoy nuts in my desserts. They are fine in other things and as a snack, but not with my dessert! Clotilde has me thinking of France though and when I think of France one of the things that comes to mind is Nutella®. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it. It is a hazelnut/chocolate spread and it is delicious! I remember having it on a croissant or baguette for breakfast many mornings while visiting France. The best though, was buying a Nutella® crepe from a street vender. C'est manufique! (I have a feeling we will hear more about this in a future post). I added some Nutella® to my chocolate zucchini cake to add the flavor of nuts (and more chocolate) with out the crunch. If you do not have Nutella® and do not know where to find it, you could easily omit it. I also added some yogurt for extra moisture. You could substitute the vanilla for almond or rum flavoring as well. To those skeptics out there, this cake turnes out deliciously moist and chocolaty, and I promise there is not a hint of any of the "healthy" ingredients in sight!

Laura's Zucchini Chocolate Cake
½ cup butter
½ cup plain or vanilla yogurt
½ cup hazelnut spread like Nutella®
2 egg whites
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups white flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup mini chocolate chips
(or ½ cup chips and ½ cup chopped walnuts if desired)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the sugar, and butter. Add the Nutella®, yogurt, egg whites, and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients together and then slowly add to creamed mixture. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour batter into a greased spring-form pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. If the edges start to brown too quickly, tent with foil. Let cool on wire rack. Remove sides from pan and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with fresh berries and some whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails