Sunday, March 21, 2010

Creative Cooking: Zucchini Cake


It started with these... We got some zucchini in our CSA box. Being as I'd already dabbled in savory zucchini delicacies, I decided to try something sweet. I turned to my buddy the Amateur Gourmet to figure out what to do with it. Olive oil cake sounded a little strange, but Adam has rarely led me astray.

Note to readers: Only one zucchini chunk was harmed in the shooting of this photo. (I considered picking the chunk up and using it anyway, but I haven't mopped my floor in a while.)

Update: Since beginning this post, I have mopped my floor. You're welcome.


The recipe called for grated zucchini, but I put the zucchini in my food processor (believe the reviews, this baby is as LOUD as a jet engine). I think I overdid it on the processing thing, but subtlety has never been one of my strengths.

Note to Readers: I do not in any way consider myself qualified to give useful recommendations about household appliances, but I want to say a few things about my blender/food processor. I don't love it, but it gets the job done. I only bought it because I couldn't justify one of these. Actually, I had no trouble justifying the aforementioned blender of bliss. I just knew that Steve would retaliate by buying one of these. Then I would be forced to buy this. The whole thing could spiral out of control very quickly.


The recipe called for toasted walnuts.


They also ended up in the food processor. And got over-processed. (I think they were supposed to end up walnut chunks, not dust...)

I have a problem.


My mood improved dramatically when I got to use my sifter on the flour and spices.


I had a moral dilemma when I looked at the ingredients list of my shortening tub. WARNING: SOAP BOX AHEAD I just finished reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. A lot of what Pollan said really resonated with me, and I've been making an effort to be more mindful of the things I eat. I needed to grease the bundt pan, but the shortening had all kinds of multi-syllabic ingredients that I only vaguely recognized.


Butter was much more sensible. Ingredients: cream (milk), salt.

But butter is expensive. And I only needed to grease the pan. And is it even worth debating the health of individual ingredients when making a cake? That you will probably eat mostly by yourself?

If I had been thinking, I would have used olive oil. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, but the reason I didn't is because I was afraid it would make the cake taste funny. It seems I temporarily forgot that the name of this cake was OLIVE OIL Zuchinni. Duh.

I ended up using the butter. I expect to reach food nirvana sometime tomorrow afternoon.


After wrestling with my culinary conscience about the greasing of the pan, I mixed up the ingredients into a moderately thick batter...


And baked it in my bundt pan.

Note to Readers: This is the third time I've used the bundt pan this school year.

Note to Steve: It was still totally worth it.


The glaze consisted of lemon juice, sugar, and powdered sugar. I didn't even bother contemplating the nutritional value.


The finished cake showed no signs of the inner turmoil it generated.


In fact, it will probably be made again.

Full disclosure: I am not making any money from any of the links in this post. I was just in a facetious mood and felt like over-linking. It happens.