Let’s give a round of applause to the first person who decided to add vegetables to desserts, breads and muffins. There is the carrot cake, sweet potato pie, beets in cakes, and of course, zucchini bread. Perhaps vegetables surrounded by sugar aren’t always the best way to go, but it is certainly nice to throw a veggie dessert in the rotation every now and then.
Summer squash doesn’t always stand out as a nutritional superstar, but it definitely has some appealing characteristics. It is rich manganese which activates enzymes that play a role in energy metabolism. It also plays a role in the formation of healthy cartilage and bone. Zucchini also offers vitamin C, vitamin A and dietary fiber in addition to several other vitamins and minerals.
We have eaten plenty of sautéed summer squash around here topped with fresh herbs and olive oil. So about two weeks ago I was ready for some zucchini bread. At least bread is what I started with. Then I started thinking about cake.
After adapting the zucchini bread recipe from the 75th Anniversary Edition of the Joy of Cooking by adding my favorite sugars and flour along with some additional spice. I had the cake recipe set. With the chocolate chips and the walnuts this definitely falls in the dessert category, but just between you and me we did have some for breakfast.
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake with Candied Walnuts
Cake adapted from Joy of Cooking, Sweet Zucchini Bread
1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
¾ cup demerara sugar
½ cup butter, melted
½ tsp vanilla
2 cups fresh zucchini, shredded
½ cup dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp butter melted
1/8 cup mascavo sugar
½ cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch brownie pan.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
In a larger bowl, whisk together the demerara sugar and eggs. Slowly whisk in the ½ cup cooled, melted butter. Whisk well to dissolve the sugar as much as possible. Stir in the vanilla.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Add in the zucchini and the chocolate chips and stir just until incorporated. The batter will be very thick. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan.
In a small dish, stir together the butter, mascavo sugar and walnuts until the walnuts are coated. Sprinkle the walnuts over the batter and press in gently.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 9 servings.