Cakes · Garden · New Favorite

Chocolate Zucchini Cake…good for you, right?

Zucchini has been plentiful this year and I was craving a chocolate fix.  I found this recipe and LOVED the cake. The glaze turned into chocolate globs which I did try to spread on top of the cake.  Next time I’d either just skip the glaze, or make my own.

The cake is moist and delicious…a keeper!

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE

Unsalted butter, for the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or allspice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon honey

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch-square cake pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
  • Toss 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Whisk the remaining flour, the cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
  • Beat the sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil, the eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and pale, about 3 minutes. Add the flour-cocoa mixture; beat on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes (the batter will be thick). Add the zucchini and beat until combined, about 2 more minutes. Fold in the flour-coated chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
  • Make the glaze: Combine the remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon olive oil and the honey in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Spread over the cake, then cut into pieces.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/chocolate-zucchini-cake-recipe.html?oc=linkback

NOTE:  I made this recipe again and used a different glaze that was perfect:

GLAZE
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave at 15 second intervals and stir each time until mixture is smooth. Pour over cake.

Family Favorites · Gluten Free · New Traditions

Blackberry Frozen Yogurt

Blackberries, or any berries for that matter, are among my favorite foods. This recipe sounded so delicious, simple and somewhat healthy, I had to try it. It was delicious and I wish I had more in my freezer. While grandson, Evan, wasn’t initially excited about the cold, he acquired a ravenous taste for it and wanted more, more, more.

I’m anxious to try other fruits this spring and summer!

BLACKBERRY FROZEN YOGURT

5 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups (32 oz.) fat-free (or low fat) vanilla yogurt

  • In a food processor, puree blackberries, water and lemon juice.  Strain blackberries, reserving juice and pulp. Discard seeds. Return pureed blackberries to food processor; add sugar and vanilla. Cover and process until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, combine yogurt and blackberry mixture. Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.

  • Refrigerate remaining mixture until ready to freeze.  When yogurt is frozen, transfer to a freezer container.  Freeze for 2-4 hours before serving (IF you can wait that long!).

Adapted from Taste of Home

 

My Roots · New Traditions

Roasted Eggplant Spread

Roasted Eggplant Spread

My love of eggplant began when I was a young child.  My mother would peel and slice the eggplant, sprinkle with salt, and let rest on paper towels for 30-45 minutes to remove the bitterness.  She would then flour, salt and pepper the eggplant, and brown the eggplant slices in hot oil.  The hot eggplant slices were then put on a slice of bread and eaten as a sandwich.  I STILL love eggplant this way but have searched for healthier ways to cook eggplant.

This spread is a new favorite.  Rumor has it that the original recipe came from the Barefoot Contessa.

It is difficult for me to resist eating the cubed eggplant straight from the roasting pan but the majority usually makes it to the food processor.  I often eat this as a side dish as well as a spread. Either way…you can’t beat the wonderful flavor of eggplant.  YUM!

ROASTED EGGPLANT SPREAD

2 medium eggplant, peeled
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 red (or sweet) onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1 inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

  • Spread on greased baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing one time during the roasting process. Cool slightly.

  • Place the vegetables in a food processor. Add the tomato paste and pulse to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • Optional: serve with crumbled feta cheese on crackers, bread or pita chips.