It’s just about summer time which means if you live in a climate that is conducive to growing veggies, you may well have the start of a zucchini glut on your hands. Even if you can’t or don’t grow your own, your CSA box is likely overflowing with these lovely shiny veggies, and they’re definitely “priced to go” at the local market. Spying a few, complete with their beautiful yellow flowers, at our local farmers’ market, and knowing that I was about to spend time testing baking recipes for Drop (more on that later) with the lovely, talented, Lauren Godfrey, I grabbed a couple, figuring I’d determine what to do with them later.
So what’s Drop, I hear you ask? In my other life I do marketing, mostly for tech companies. Imagine my delight at being asked to work with a start-up company developing a whizzy new device aimed at helping home bakers! Enter Drop – an iPad-connected kitchen scale that will change the way you bake thanks to the amazing app that reinvents the way recipes work. Okay, I’m biased, but I promise you’ll love it. You can watch a demo video here.
And Lauren? Okay, okay… I’m getting to her. She’s someone I met recently who has been helping us out at Drop: writing cool blog posts like this one on how to decorate cakes like a pro, and testing recipes for our app. A former ad creative turned passionate chef, food stylist, recipe creator and tester, and even food photographer, Lauren and I recently got together in her kitchen to test a recipe for Drop. Along the way she showed me ways to seriously amp up my food photography (something I was totally psyched about). The results of our time together are this amazing Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe – which is… BONUS, gluten-free – and these beautiful photographs, which I took all by myself. (Credit to Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things blog for the recipe we riffed off.)
Ingredients: (preferably organic)
– 1 cup of finely grated zucchinis (courgettes to those of you in the U.K.)
– 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
– 1 cup of King Arthur gluten-free flour (this is my favorite) – if you prefer, use regular flour
– 1.5 tsp of baking powder
– 1 tsp of vanilla essence
– pinch of salt
– 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder (or processed cocoa powder, unsweetened)
– 3/4 cup of caster sugar (we subbed this out for coconut palm sugar, because it’s less sweet and doesn’t spike your blood sugar as much)
– 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
– 100 grams of butter, room temperature
– 2 organic eggs
– 1/4 cup of buttermilk (cultured, organic)
– 1-2 tbsp dark chocolate chocolate chips
– 2-3 tbsp of powdered sugar
– zest and juice of one orange
- Pre-heat the oven to 355 degrees Farenheit and line a bread tin with parchment paper.
- Finely chop the walnuts with a sharp knife using a rocking motion (or you can pound them with a mortar and pestle) and finely grate the zucchini until you have a cup’s worth.
- Zest the orange until it’s nice and nude, and set aside the juice of the orange for the frosting.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, cacao powder, baking powder, pinch of salt, orange zest and ground cinnamon. Run a ballon whisk through everything to get rid of any lumps.
- Cream together the butter and sugar. You can use a stand mixer, but I didn’t as the butter was nice and soft. If you’re using coconut palm sugar, you may want to give it a quick whizz in a blender or spice grinder to get a finer consistency.
- Once the creamed ingredients are light and fluffy, add the eggs, one at a time until everything is well combined. Then add the vanilla essence.
- Add the grated zucchini and walnuts to the dry ingredients before folding into the wet mixture with the buttermilk.
- Spoon the cake batter into your prepared tin and pop in the oven for 30-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the top springs back when you touch it.
- Let the cake cool in the tin for about five to ten minutes before setting on a serving plate. Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave – go slow, twenty seconds at a time so you don’t burn the chocolate. Once melted, drizzle over the cake – it doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Then mix the powdered sugar in a separate bowl, adding a teaspoon of the orange juice at a time until you have thick, but drizzly consistency.
- Enjoy! For extra decadence, add a little dab of organic butter before eating.