CHOCOLATE & ZUCCHINI CAKE WITH LUSCIOUS CREAM CHEESE ICING
Delicious recipes aimed at promoting community and protecting the environment, from Australian cook Clare Scrine.
Serves 10-12 I promise you can’t actually see, taste or smell the zucchini in this cake. Instead, the vegetable adds moisture and helps to create a really beautiful classic chocolate cake that makes a perfect celebration centrepiece when loaded up with berries and slathered in the best icing ever. It’s easy to handle, including to slice and fill with extra icing, and will keep fresh for days in the fridge. Co ee adds a depth of flavour and additional moisture to the batter, but you won’t taste it unless you make an extrastrong cup. 3 eggs 150 grams sour cream 250ml vegetable oil (or other neutral oil) 170ml black co ee, cooled 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 270 grams finely grated zucchini (from 2-3 zucchini) 325 grams brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 300 grams self-raising flour ½ teaspoon baking soda 90 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder Cream cheese icing 375 grams icing sugar 85 grams good-quality cocoa powder 150 grams salted butter, at room temperature 375 grams cream cheese, at room temperature To fill and top 250ml double-thickened cream (or double cream, whipped) 400 grams cherries and mixed berries Swaps cherries and berries – poached pears, or fresh plums or figs coffee – hot water Preheat the oven to 170°C fan-forced. Line two 25-30cm springform cake tins with baking paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, vegetable oil, cooled co ee and vanilla until well combined and a little frothy. Add the zucchini and stir well to combine. In a separate large bowl, combine the sugar, salt, flour, baking soda and cocoa powder. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined, ensuring you scrape right to the bottom of the bowl to mix well. Distribute the mixture evenly between the two prepared tins, then transfer to the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out mostly clean. It’s important not to overcook the cakes, so keep a close eye on them. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes, then snap o the sides of the tins and leave to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese icing. Sift and combine the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl and set aside. In a separate larger bowl, beat the butter with electric beaters until light and flu y. Add the cream cheese and beat until incorporated and smooth. Add the icing sugar mixture in two batches, beating well to combine after each addition. Place one of the cakes on a serving stand or plate. Top with a thin layer of icing, using the back of a spoon or a knife to spread and swirl the icing so that it’s flat and evenly distributed. Spread the cream over the top, then arrange about half the cherries and berries over that. Carefully add a thin layer of icing to the remaining cake, then place, icing side down, on top of the berries, pressing gently to ensure it sits flat. Top the cake generously with the remaining icing, spreading it all around the cake with a flat spatula or spreader. Top with the remaining berries and serve.