Friday, August 10, 2007

zucchini cake

This month I am attempting to make desserts inspired from ingredients out of my garden. Truth be told, this is the first year that I have ever really planted vegetables and herbs and actually looked after them. So for the last two months I have been tending to the garden, by watering, pulling out weeds and maintenance. With my busy, crazy and sometimes stressful jobs ( I have five at the moment), I actually find gardening very peaceful and relaxing. Anyways, Since the zucchini was the first vegetable to really be ready for the picking, I decided to make a simple, yet comforting zucchini cake.

Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup pecans toasted and coarsely chopped
1 cup shredded raw zucchini
1/2 cup peeled and shredded raw apple
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Grease (or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray) a 9 x 9 inch pan. Set aside.
2. Toast the pecans for about 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
3. Grate the zucchini, using a medium grater, and then peel and grate the apple. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
5. In a large bowl beat the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until well blended. Beat in the grated zucchini and apple. Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Then fold in the nuts and coconut. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tbsp confectioners sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a food processor, process the butter and cream cheese until very smooth with no lumps. Gradually add in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated and smooth. Add in the vanilla extract. Spread over the top of the cooled zucchini cake. Add toasted coconut and toasted pecans for a more finished look.