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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

nutritionally responsible cake

Considering the degree to which I adore cake, it seems a long time since I posted anything cake related.  Aside from the fact that I may have been eating too much of it.

I want to reacquaint you with one of my favorite cakes that I feel has arrived at the juncture of delicious and healthy.  At least as much as a cake can and still consider itself cake.

Zucchini chocolate cake with white mountain frosting. 

(This frosting likely goes by other names- Ange found a similar one called "7 minute frosting"- but this is the recipe passed down by the good cooks of downeast Maine kitchens and I know it works and is sure to please.)

Light and airy, reminiscent of gooey marshmallow Fluff, this frosting scoffs at the oodles of butter and confectioner's sugar it takes for a conventional buttercream.  To make it you must have patience, a dry day (boiling sugar on the stove abhors a humid day) and, for ease of mind, a candy thermometer, although it is not necessary.

But first, take a look at what you will be making: 
(this was with Ella's spring flair decorating)

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

sift together:
-1 1/4 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
-1 c. whole wheat flour
-3/4 c. Hershey's dark cocoa powder
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-2 c. brown sugar
-1/2 c. butter

then add:
-2 eggs (and beat well)

beat in:
-4 oz. dark baking chocolate (melted and cooled)
-1 tsp vanilla.

Add sifted flour mixture to the wet ingredients, alternating with 1/2 c. cooled coffee and beat until smooth. Fold in 4 cups of grated zucchini.

Place batter in a greased bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 until toothpick comes out clean. Cool.  

White Mountain Frosting

Beat: 2 egg whites (be very careful not to get any yolk) and 1 tsp baking powder until stiff peaks form.  This will take several minutes.

Heat: In a small saucepan heat 1 cup of sugar, 3 TBSP cold water and 1 tsp vinegar.  Boil until 235 degrees or until the liquid “hairs” (which means when you pour it off a spoon the last drop falls and a thin line that looks like hair hangs from the spoon.)  This will also take several minutes.

Beat the heated mixture into the egg whites, adding 1 tsp vanilla.  Spread onto cake.

For some this frosting recipe might seem a bit daunting and I can tell you that when I made it for the cake below it took me two tries because I didn't beat the egg whites long enough. I say no big deal. The rejected batch made a yummy fruit dip that made many members of our family happy.

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