Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

zucchcake2I’m going to come right out and say that this cake is good for you. And why not, it has zucchini, which has a good amount of vitamin C, the dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, and it has less sugar per serving than I put in my morning coffee. That being said, this cake isn’t super sweet. Too satisfy a particularly sweet tooth, top it with a cream cheese frosting.

This recipe is adapted from Care2.com.

INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons butter
3 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups unbleached white wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 cups grated zucchini

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and dust with unsweetened cocoa powder.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, a saucepan over low heat, or in the microwave. If using a microwave, start with 30 seconds. Stir often.

3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium sized mixing bowl.

4. In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and yogurt and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate and butter mixture, and the zucchini.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack.

Serve as is or top with whipped cream or cream cheese icing. Ymmm.

Serves 8 to 10.

Spicy Dark-Chocolate Pudding

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to eat pudding every day. Like my other resolutions, I’ve already slacked off, but today, I’m getting back on track…at least on the eating pudding part.

I don’t know why anyone would ever bother with pre-packaged pudding. Homemade pudding is easy, delicious, and you most likely have everything you need in your cupboard.

2 cups of milk
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of vanilla (or almond extract)
1/2 cup of dark chocolate bar chopped-up (or chocolate chips)
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional, this will make it noticeably spicy, if you only want a hint of spice, just add a pinch)

-Add the milk, cocoa powder, sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and cornstarch to pan.
-Heat over medium heat until it boils (about five minutes). Stir constantly.
-Continue to heat for another minute or two, until it starts to thicken.
-Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract and the chocolate bar.
-Pour into four containers. Eat warm or chill. If you chill it, place either plastic wrap or wax paper directly on the surface to keep a skin from forming on it.

This version makes a rich, dark pudding. You can make it more of a milk chocolate pudding by decreasing the cocoa powder to 1/4 cup, increasing the cornstarch to 2 tablespoons and using milk chocolate instead of dark.

If you want something really special, top it with fresh whipped cream. One of my husband’s New Year’s resolutions is to eat more whipped cream…it’s going to be a great year…

Happy New Year!