Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The fruits of my labor, and zucchini cake.

Now that summer has reached full swing our garden has been over flowing with the fruits of my naive gardening labor.  It's amazing what can happen in such a tiny space, and with a whole lot of start up capital. My carrots and beets have been trucking along, and the string beans and tomatoes are taking over, and the odd berry has been popping up in my bushes. It's nice to feel productive, food grown by your own two hands tastes better. And more importantly....the zucchini that come from a garden are fantastic mutant giants that make grating a million times easier. 

I come before you with a transformation. This is my zucchini. 
 (Note the head to vegetable ratio.)
 And this is my Auntie Bev's Zucchini Cake, or Bread...if you'd like to feel virtuous. With an impromptu cream cheese icing that you can feel free to omit should it not strike your fancy.
 Auntie Bev's Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

 Zucchini Cake. 
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups AP flour. 
3 large eggs.
1 cup of vegetable oil. (If you're like me and like your cake super moist and dense..add another 1/8 of a cup.)
2 1/3 cups shredded zucchini. 
1 1/4 teaspoons of salt.
1/4 of a teaspoon baking powder.
1 teaspoon baking soda.
3 tablespoons vanilla extract.
1 tablespoon cinnamon. (I couldn't resist adding a pinch of ground ginger and a pinch of cardamom.)
1/2 cup walnuts or raisins. (I didn't add either.) 

Cream Cheese Icing. 
1/8 to 1/4 pound cream cheese brought to room temperature.
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. 
1/2 cup confectioners sugar.
1/4 cup hot water. 

Hand mixer. 
1 huge bowl. 
Box grater.
2 loaf pans, greased. Or one bundt pan.

And away we go...
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease your vessel(s) of choice. Add the sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and salt into the bowl and mix together. Then I like to sift the flour, baking powder and soda, and spices together separately before adding those in as well. Grate the zucchini on the "Mozzarella" side, if it's as big as mine you probably will want to quarter it prior. Pack into two cups and add them last. Beat it all together and fill your waiting pan. 

Pop it into the oven, it should take about an hour and a half if you use a bundt pan. Though...I started the cake off at 325 as per the recipe, after about 20 minutes I switched it to 350. If you're using something as big...I'd recommend starting at 350, and checking after a half hour. And then every 15 minutes after.
If you're going to be working with loaf pans, keep it at 325 and check every 15 minutes. When the top is dry and golden brown, and a knife comes out clean you can assume it is done. Take it out and let them cool completely before allowing it to disembark. 

Microwave the cream cheese for 30 seconds to soften it, then whisk in the vanilla equal amounts of the confectioners sugar and hot water until it becomes a slightly thinned out glaze. Spoon over the cake as much as you like.  Crush some nuts or grate some lemon zest and sprinkle on top to garnish if you'd like. 


1 comment:

  1. i love your delicious looking cake and your new gorgeous hair.