11 August 2007

Let the Games Begin.....

Congratulations to last months winner Marye at Apron Strings and Simmering Things of the "Royal Foodie Joust"!! The joust is the invention of Jenn a talented writer, teacher and fellow blogger over at Leftover Queen. To be eligible to joust you have to come up with a recipe using 3 key ingredients chosen by the winner. For September's joust Marye has chosen zucchini, buttermilk and chipotle. I am up for the challenge!!! I decided upon Chocolate Zucchini Cake with a Chocolate Chipotle Sauce that I found a few years ago. I have been trying to find out the origins of the Spiced Chocolate Sauce. Maybe someone out there could help me out on that one?? I visited our local Italian grocer looking for chipotle pepper and she was very familiar with the sauce, so, I am guessing that maybe it is Italian in origin???? The sauce uses Mexican chocolate which I couldn't find. I know that it contains cinnamon. There's a hint maybe the sauce is Mexican??? On the Net it states for every ounce of Mexican chocolate substitute 1 ounce of semi-sweet chocolate with the addition of 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1 drop of almond extract. This would add up to 4 teaspoons of cinnamon in the sauce which would alter the flavour far too much so I used much less.

Now I have an entire cake to eat, which wouldn't be such a bad thing but I don't want to be rolling on the floor either. Normally I would not make dessert unless it was a special occasion, but, the joust was a great excuse to get something on the table. Dessert and coffee is always a great excuse to invite people over!!!

When you're testing the cake for doneness, insert the wooden pick in several different places. You might hit a melted chocolate, which might make you think the cake isn't done. To prevent the cake from sticking in the Bundt pan spray it with cooking spray and then sprinkle the pan with granulated sugar instead of flour.

**Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Chipotle Chocolate Sauce** 
  • cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) block style cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini ( someone had squeezed their zucchini for the recipe and the cake was dry....it makes a very moist and delicious cake as is)
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. To prepare cake, coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust pan with 1 T flour or sugar.

3. Place sugars, cream cheese, and vegetable oil in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 tsp vanilla extract.
4. Lightly spoon 2-1/2 cups flour into dry measurements, and level with a knife. Combine 2-1/2 cups flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. NOTE: Put cocoa through a fine sieve to remove any lumps.
5. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in zucchini, 2/3 cup chocolate chips and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350F for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

**Chipotle Chocolate Sauce**
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 8 oz (1/2 lb) Mexican chocolate, chopped ( I substituted semisweet chocolate, maybe 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Combine the half-and-half, butter, and ground chipotle in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan or double-boiler over medium heat. Heat the mixture until a thin paper like skin appears on the top . Do not boil. Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool. The sauce can be kept refrigerated for several days, but it must be returned to room temperature before serving.

2. Drizzle sauce over slices of Chocolate Zucchini Cake and garnish with a few strawberries if you like.
Makes 1/2 cups
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  1. Valli, what a fantastic cake. I've only eaten choc zucchini cake once and really loved it. One question: dod u have to squeeze excess liquid from the grated zucchini? I've made cakes with zucchini and sometimes it ends up being to "wet", if you know what I mean.

    Hope you are having a terrific weekend. I'm sure your friends appreciated the cake!

  2. I had read in other recipes that you had to squeeze out the zucchini to make it drier. This cake turned out perfect without squeezing.Msybe the addition of the cream cheese holds it suspended in a thicker batter?????Who knows!!!In fact one of the comments was that the person had squeezed their zucchini and it turned out dry.

  3. This sounds amazing. What an exciting recipe!

  4. Wow Valli! This sounds soooooo good! WOW! I love chocolate and chilis! Amazing!

    I am sorry you had trouble posting this yesterday. I am going to try to post it for you on the forum. I have been trying to play with it and see what happened, but it works fine for me....stay tuned!

    This is amazing!

  5. Valli - If I lived close to you I would be knocking on your door for a piece of that cake! I shy away from desserts as I would consume the whole thing and my hips do not need any extra help these days. But on special occasions...the sky is the limit and I will put this one on the back burner for the next special!

  6. Thanks for helping me out Jenn. I really appreciate your expertise for the newbie that I am!!!!

    Deb...my hips don't like desserts either that is why I gave half of the cake to my daughter to take home. The rest was consumed by appreciative friends. I did have 2 pieces though!!!!

  7. This recipe sounds sooo good. I had zucchini muffins recently, and thought they were wonderful.
    I'm sure I had had them before, but I couldn't remember.

  8. Muhahahahahahahahahahaha you will need an intervention pretty soon, just like me!!!
    Great job! It looks YUMMY!

  9. This sounds like the perfect concoction to make with those ingredients, it looks fabulous!

  10. I would love to join in this challenge - but buttermilk isnt easily found in the UK. Unless you are a farmer! What is the nearest equivalent - any ideas?

  11. Wow! That looks wonderful, and the sauce must have been delicious!


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