Posted by Vicky on | February 27, 2011 | No Comments
My daughter Boo is intolerant to dairy and soy, although the saving grace when it came to cake making was that she could eat eggs. I adore baking, and it may sound rather silly but when CJ was born I was really looking forward to having a proper first birthday cake – one with butter, real butter and lots of it and of course eggs! Although at the time, not being able to cook with eggs never crossed my mind.
For my family the birthday cake is a very special marker for the passing year and the one to come. I remember with great affection the cakes that my mother used to bake (and still does if I’m lucky enough to be at home for a birthday). They were extravagant affairs, cakes formed into hedgehogs with real butter chocolate icing, and Cadbury Flakes for the bristles, a Victoria Sponge adorned with iced flowers, a Chocolate torte… the list goes on. It was a tradition that I was really looking forward to starting with my children. I thought I would never have that perfect cake making experience with them.
It took quite a lot of reading, a few disasters, a few tears (my husbands – after being a guinea-pig for a particularly revolting attempt with canned pumpkin and chocolate), and finally a whole load of whooping when I had my Eureka moment with a recipe that has yet to fail me. And best of all, no egg or dairy in sight – both children can eat it. All of their friends and our friends have loved it, it’s moist dark damp chocolate cake – and if you didn’t know better, you would swear it’s a sponge cake… not a zucchini cake!
So with out further I ado, I am happy to introduce to you Simply The Best Chocolate Cake:
- -1 ½ cups white sugar
- -2 cups of plain flour
- -½ cup cocoa powder
- - ½ teaspoon baking powder
- - 1 teaspoon salt
- - ½ cup bran rice oil (I always use this in baking, it has no hidden extras and no added fish oil)
- -1 cup water (straight from the tap- not cold)
- - 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- - 2 cups of finely grated zucchini. Do not peel. (use the yellow one, as it does not show in the cake)
Preheat the oven to 180c. Mix all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl, sifting as you go to avoid any lumps. Mix very well with a fork. Add in the liquid ingredients, and with a wooden spoon beat the mixture together – when it mixed enough it should have the consistency of fudge. Finally fold in the zucchini, and make sure that it is evenly combined with the mixture.
Either pour the mixture into a greased and lined 9×13 inch baking pan, or it makes 12 cup cakes. If baking as a whole cake cook for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Or, if baking cupcakes cook for about 15-17 minutes- again testing with the toothpick (or knife).
If I’m cooking a truly indulgent Simply The Best Chocolate Cake I also add in a bar of smashed-up dark chocolate (smashed with a rolling pin – great for whacking out a stressful day!). The good kind – at least 70% cocoa.
The best part- the children fight over who’s going to lick the spoon and stick their fingers into the cake mixture bowl, to scrape out the gooey chocolaty remains. Perfect.