Saturday, 6 September 2008

The True Test

In any art form, it is a rare thing to make something completely original. After all, originality is the art of concealing your original source. To be innovative in baking can be difficult for me (and many chefs) because it requires several testings and I simply don't have the time to test one idea several times over to perfection. Or, I can do some research through some cookbooks or the internet and use some recipe that a test kitchen made several times over to perfection.

Besides, I am the type of cook to take classic stuff and interpret it. A sort of a Shakespearean Chef.

This recipe was from a cooking class I taught recently. It collected an excellent reception and I know that I would have never even thought of this recipe completely on my own.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake

500 g A.P. Flour
125 g Cocoa Powder
10 g Baking Powder
7 g Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Cinnamon
400g Chocolate Chunks
125 ml Oil
125 ml Buttermilk
500 g Sugar
3 Eggs
3 Zucchinis, grated
10 ml Vanilla
1 Zest of an Orange

Orange Glaze

350 g Icing Sugar
Juice of Two Oranges

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking dish 0f your desire: muffin tins, bundt pan, 8" springform, whatever.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk and eggs, Add sugar and whisk well. Add zucchini, vanilla and zest. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. Add chocolate and pour batter into pan and bake. 35 minutes for muffins or 50 - 60 for a cake. If you're not sure, stick a toothpick in the centre and it should come clean.

In a sauce pan, bring juice to a boil. Add sugar and whisk. Let cool and brush glaze on top of cake.

Makes 12 muffins or 1 cake.

Variation: I used yellow zucchini instead of green. It tasted the same but the yellow added some nice colour. A small handful of pecans add a very nice crunch.

A Humble Chef's tip: grate the zucchini as freshly as possible. Also, be sure to use fresh vegetables.

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