Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake with lovely Orange Essence

Torta con Zucchini, Arancia e Cioccolata

Hello friends,
Yeah, yeah ... another dessert but you'll love it - promise! I know, it sounds strange because of the secret ingredient, zucchini! I call it a secret ingredient becuase although there are 3 of them in this cake, you don't see or taste them. Why add zucchini if you don't even taste them, you ask? Well, apart from the health benefits listed below, I'm pretty sure it adds moisture. Another benefit is that you can feed this to a fussy child who won't touch zucchini with a 10 food pole and they won't even know it!

First let me tell you where I got the recipe..I was shopping at Costco (which I still insist on calling Club Price lol) and I wandered over to the cookbook section, as usual. I picked up this cookbook by Maria Loggia. I had never heard of her, nor had I seen her on the Food Network. I quickly flipped through the pages, not expecting much but what I found was page after page of great recipes..I snatched up the book quickly and casually placed it in the basket but my fiancee noticed and said, "another cook book??" in an exasperated tone..to which I exclaimed "YES BUT... THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD RECIPES IN THIS BOOK!!" He rolled his eyes.

He won't complain when I make something out of this world , now will he? As I suspected, he loved this Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake! - He's my biggest fan. (He says that he'll really be my "biggest" fan if I keep this up :)

I guarantee you'll be seeing and reading about my adventures making many of Maria's creations, right here on this blog.  I can't wait to try the stuffed chicken legs, stuffed olives or the fresh ricotta topped with a mixture of olives, pistachios and olive oil!! Check this book out for yourselves, buy one for a loved one or keep it for yourself and show off the next time you have guests over :) . Maria Loggia is a local chef but that's all I know for now..

Note to self: Google Maria Loggia

Health note:
Nutritionally, zucchinis are rich in valuable antioxidants. Plus contain beta-carotene, vitamin C, folic acid and calcium. Zucchini are also a good source of fiber (4 grams per cup). One cup of zucchini has nearly as much potassium as a banana. Plus it contains the valuable mineral nutrient phosphorus

Zucchini is not the only star here. Dark chocolate is a powerful antioxidant!

RECIPE (finally lol)

Yeah , you guessed it. I cut a piece for myself before taking a picture for my blog lol...So I tried to be artistic with the missing piece. 


2+1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
2+1/2 tsp baking powder
1+1/2 tsp  baking soda
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
3 medium-sized zucchini, quartered lenthwise, white membrane removed, finely shredded (i used a cheese grater)
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs at room temp
zest of one orange
2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of orange extract (optional) - I put 1/4 tsp
1/2 cup milk at room temp.
1 cup of pecans, finely ground
1 cup of quality bitter-sweet chocolate chips  - I used dark chocolate chips 50%

Grease a bundt pan with butter + flour for dusting or PAM for baking

When cake has cooled, dust cake with icing sugar and serve with fresh berries and mint leaves.

Preheat oven to 350F. 

In a large bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Put shredded zucchini in a tea-towel or paper towl and wring to remove excess moisture (don't go crazy, just a couple of squeezes :)

In another large bowl, beat the butter on high until it is light and fluffy. 
Gradually the sugar and beat until sugar is comletely incorporated. (scraping the sides of the bowl)
 Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well each time.
Add orange zest, vanilla and orange extract
Beat until light and fluffy
Add zucchini and mix well. 
On low speed, gradually add flour mixture to the batter alternating with the milk
Mix until combined, do not overmix. 
Fold in the pecans and chocolate chips
Pour batter into the greased bundt pan and bake for 55 to 60 min, or until  a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and thn invert cakeonto a wire rack. 
Cool to room temp and dust with icing sugar. Serve with fresh fruit and garnish with mint leaves.

Enjoy this & have a great day!


  1. Zucchini!! Can you believe it?!?! But what's even better is that this cake was awesome! You expect it to taste heathy and dry... and yet you dont taste the zucchini at al. Great way to feel like your cheating without all the guilt! Loved it!

  2. This cake is fantastic!
    Love the pics :)

  3. The cake was yummy! A couple of weeks I told you about a woman who gives cooking courses just outside Montreal...it's Maria Loggia. She's been featured in The Gazette quite a few times and her website is www.tavolamia.com. She has great recipes!

  4. Stephanie, you are making those that lost weight recently want to eat the computer screen in front of them! lol
    great recipes!

    we'll let you know how our cake comes out!