Guest Blogger #2: Un Hommage à Chocolate & Zucchini

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Food Librarian says: Thank you Jessica, my second guest blogger!
I tried this cake (two slices) and this is a delicious recipe!

Sorry for the delay in my posting as Guest Blogger #2, but there would have been mutiny at my house if I had tried to bake anything weekend before last – the weekend Los Angeles was transported to the surface of the sun.

However, now things have cooled off, and the perfect idea for what to bake arrived at my doorstep. I had been dragging my feet, hemming and hawing about what to bake for my foray into food blogging (I am an avid reader of food blogs, but never a participant) when my Amazon order arrived. In it was Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen by Clotilde Dusoulier, and a recipe for Gâteau Chocolat & Courgette, aka Chocolate & Zucchini Cake.

Now, there are at least a couple of reasons why this is the perfect thing for me to bake. 1. Ms. Dusoulier’s blog was the first one that I ever read, this is the first blog that I’ve ever written for, and this is her recipe. 2. I am (and I rarely admit this due to embarrassment) a bit of a Francophile. And just like that it was decided.

So last night I got all of my ingredients together for the cake, measuring out the flour and cocoa and setting them aside in a sealed plastic container next to all of the other non-perishables. These included the bittersweet chocolate chips which, in a shocking turn of events, turned out to be for sale at the local janky Stater Bros. that I am always talking trash about because it so frequently lets me down.

After getting the ingredients together I ran around the kitchen looking for a round cake pan to use because of course I did not buy one when I went to Surfas (which the Food Librarian, my culinary school graduating brother, and many others have proselytized about, and which I discovered is a land that I L-O-V-E.) I finally found a couple of bundt pans that were hold overs from my mom’s baking days. “Perfect,” I thought, “I’ll make a beautiful bundt;” because I make entirely too many loaves.

I intended to get up very early in the morning and get to baking, so I set my alarm for 5:30 and I went to bed – it was 2 AM. When I woke up this morning feeling tired but mostly rested I knew something was wrong; it was 6:45. Rats!!!! I blessed my forethought in having gotten my supplies together earlier and started grating like a demon; luckily you can grate zucchini pretty darn quick. Actually, I have to admit that the cake was surprisingly easy to pull together. I’m a really slow baker but I started it at 6:50 and had it in the oven by 7:40!

The recipe allows you to choose between butter and extra virgin olive oil, so I went for the olive oil because that seemed so much more intriguing – such a strongly and distinctly flavored oil in a cake? Would it work?! Could it work?! Before long I had a luscious, dark batter – the decadent bittersweet chips and cocoa corrupting the once good-for-you zucchini. And with that thought I scraped the batter into the pan and moved it off to the oven.

I did notice that the batter didn’t fill the whole pan, but I didn’t really dwell on that too much because it was almost 8 and I still had to shower and get ready for work. So I said a small baking prayer that the cake would not have to pay a visit to Monsieur la Poubelle (that’s Mr. Trash Can, to you) and flew off to the bathroom. When I emerged, the kitchen smelled gloriously of chocolate and really nothing of zucchini.

And that is when I saw that I had not made a Gâteau Chocolat & Courgette. No mes amis, I had made Homer Simpson’s dream come true – I had made a giant chocolate and zucchini donut! Still, I had no choice but to transfer my bundt-donut to a plate, conduct a fruitless search for the powdered sugar needed for decoration, and get the heck out the door.

At work, I presented it to the Food Librarian and others in her work area. They graciously defended its honor and identity as I called it a donut instead of a bundt cake, and they complimented the flavor which even I must admit was pretty excellent.

To wrap this up – I would do 1 of 2 things differently. 1. Use a round cake pan. Or, 2. Double the recipe so that the cake bakes up as a full bundt. But you have to know that this recipe is full proof because it was able to overcome its unfortunate circumstances – being naked and shamefully donut-esque. So, merci Mademoiselle Dusoulier, merci pour la chocolat (et la courgette)!

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2 comments:

genevieve said... [Reply to comment]

Bravo, Jessiquita, bravo. I remember the day you learned how to make a scrambled egg. My, how you have grown.

clotilde said... [Reply to comment]

Actually, if I had a bundt pan (and I don't), I would bake the c&z cake in it every once in a while. The donut effect is very cute!
Great meeting you in LA,
Clotilde.

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