Sunday, September 19, 2010

Surfeit of Zucchini - a bit late!



Despite the news that this has been one of the hottest summers on record worldwide, here in balmy southern Alberta it has been an incredibly cold, wet summer. Some vegetation has loved it but for other growing things it has been challenging - zucchini for one! I love zucchini and look forward to zucchini on the grill, zucchini bread, zucchini cake, zucchini lasagna...and the list goes on. Most summers the bounty of zucchini growth allows all sorts of creative endeavors but this year I waited patiently (initially), and then sadly as I watched the zucchini plant struggle toward maturity and bearing. Most summers the zucchini plant rules the garden - boldly overtaking anything in its path and climbing over the fence - but this year, not so much. In fact it looked more like a sad tree than a vigorous vine. BUT in the end it did produce! All of a sudden and way too much and way too big. What to do with lots of zucchini and no time or inclination to do anything with it?!? but too stubborn (and excited to finally have zucchini) to throw it into the compost heap? Why make two of the yummiest and simple recipes ever!

Of course, I know that these recipes are in no way original. They have been around forever. Classics in fact. But I share them here precisely because sometimes these classic recipes are hard to find. And I know these two are sure winners.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
4 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup soured milk
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients. (And yes, this is exactly what I do - no fancy beating of this and then that and then adding whatever. Although I do mix the dry ingredients together first so there are no nasty surprises.) Mix for about 2 minutes in a stand mixer. Pour batter into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 F. for 45-60 minutes until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.

See? Simple right? And I never frost this cake. Doesn't need it!



Zucchini Bread
(the classic and the best!)

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Same M.O. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into two greased 9x5 loaf pans. Bake at 325 F. for one hour. Turn out of pans onto cooling rack after removing from oven.

If it happens that you, like me, forget to pick the zucchini soon enough and it grows to monster size, you can make both these recipes the same day, bake them together, have the cake for dessert and freeze the loaves (or give them away) for another day when zucchini bounty is a distant memory. And do it all within an hour and a half. Beauty!



5 comments:

Anna said...

Thanks for sharing! I'll snatch up an "Aunt Cheri" recipe anytime! You should see the cookbook you made & gave my parents years and years ago for Christmas. It is SO well used....we know where to find the classic recipes! Thanks again!

eden lang said...

your zucchini's are huge, and your recipes are soooooooo good! I always miss your garden during the winter.

Jonathon said...

These are two of my FAVORATE thigs you bake!
Thanks for posting such winners Mom. Eating the crust on the zucchini bread just tastes like childhood happiness to me.

Ashley said...

Zucchini bread is one of my favorite treats! I can't wait to try your recipe!!

Anonymous said...

I feel very lucky to have been a beneficiary of your wonderful zucchini bread! Amazing!

Elaine