Monday, August 04, 2014

Chocolate Courgette Cake

Move along please, nothing to see here.

Certainly not a rich, chocolately cake where the butter was replaced by shredded courgette.

And then frosted with clouds of creamy chocolate.

No sirree, that would be madness. Wouldn't it? Even if one had a rather large courgette harvest, and was running out of ideas for it.

This recipe was originally posted on a great blog called "Peas and Thank You," which now no longer exists. I have adapted it somewhat from the original incantation and updated it to weights (what is it with Americans and cup measures?!) It is endlessly adaptable and could be dairy free/egg free/gluten free as required.

Chocolate Courgette Cake
180g flour (could be replaced with oat flour (gluten free oats can be ground in a food processor to make flour)
80g cocoa powder
225g (250g) light brown sugar / 1 cup (250ml) maple syrup
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp salt
300g shredded courgette (approx. 2 medium courgettes, shredded and squeezed to release moisture, then drained in a colander)
2-3 eggs (3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce / apple puree)
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. Grease a 23x33cm deep tin and set aside (I used a disposable foil tin here as I was baking to take to work)
3. In a large bowl, combine (oat) flour, cocoa powder, (sugar), baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together shredded courgettes, eggs (applesauce), (maple syrup) and vanilla.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry, add chocolate chips, and stir until all just combined.
6. Spread mixture into the prepared tin
7. Bake for 20 minutes (original suggestion, mine took about 30 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (beware of stabbing a chocolate chip, which can make the pick appear coated in batter). 
8. Set aside to cool.

Chocolate Cream Topping
225g cream cheese, softened (could be replaced with dairy free cream cheese)
115g butter, softened (or dairy free margarine/spread)
125ml. maple syrup (100ml golden syrup mixed with 25ml water - a liquid sweetener is important here)
2tsp vanilla extract
60g cocoa powder
pinch of salt

1. Beat cream cheese, margarine or butter, maple syrup, and vanilla together using an electric mixer until smooth. If your cream cheese and butter were not completely soft, you may have a rather lumpy mixture, to make this smooth, gently heat until melted, then cool to room temperature and beat again.
2. Gradually add cocoa powder and salt until incorporated and the topping is fluffy and light.
3. Spread over the cooled cake. Then decorate to your heart's content!

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