08 August 2008

Chocolate and Zucchini Muffin Cakes

At last those muffins that I've been talking about since forever. Before we left for Hawai'i, I had a zucchini in the fridge that I needed to use so I thought 'what better place to find a recipe' than on Chocolate and Zucchini my favorite food blog. I found Clotilde's recipe for Chocolate and Zucchini cake and decided to make it. I made a few alterations to her recipe, as I wanted to make cupcakes since they would be easier to give away (and carry on the plane as a snack). I also upped the amount of whole wheat flour used, and added just a bit of extra zucchini as it seemed silly not to just grate the whole zucchini I had. I skipped the coffee granules (I can't imagine the look on Zach's face if I tried to bring home a jar of Nescafe crystals) and the hazelnut topping since Zach hates nuts (wow- this really makes it sound like I am totally pandering to Zach's tastes but I can assure you, I am not and that I do use ingredients that he doesn't really like on a regular basis).

Everything came together very quickly into a super thick batter. In fact, it looked like shredded zucchini with a thin coating of chocolate goo, but after spooning it into the muffin liners that I had sprayed with Bakers Joy and baking, the zucchini almost melted into the muffin cakes. Why I am calling them muffin cakes? Clotide calls it a cake on her post and the batter comes together like a cake by creaming the butter and the sugar, but the result is more in line with what Americans generally consider a muffin, even though it's not made with the muffin method. I thought of them as cupcakes, but everyone who tasted one commented that the 'muffins' were really good, hence my decision to call them muffin cakes.

Either way, they are delicious. The cocoa in the batter combined with the chocolate chips give the muffin cakes a really deep, rich chocolate flavor. (I did consider briefly not putting in the chips to make it a bit healthier but I'm glad I used them). The zucchini almost melts into the cake, giving it a subtle flavor and keeping them extremely moist. By using half whole wheat flour the muffin cakes are quite substantial and filling, even though they appear deceptively small as they don't rise much. They were really the perfect airplane snack food too. While everyone else was buying airline snack boxes or pulling out half-way smushed sandwiches, Zach and I pulled out fragrant muffins, carefully packed to avoid being pancaked. I think we may have gotten a jealous looks from other passengers.

Chocolate and Zucchini Muffin Cakes
Adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini
Makes 24

1 c. (120 g) AP flour
1 c. (112 g) whole wheat flour
1/2 c. (40 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temp.
2 heaping cups shredded zucchini (300g)
1 c. chocolate chips

- Preheat the oven to 350. Prep muffin tins with paper liners and grease well using Baker's Joy spray or equivalent.

- In a large bowl mix: flours, cocoa, baking soda and powder and salt.

- Using and electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy and light in color. Add vanilla extract and one egg at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.

- Add all but 1/2 c. of the flour mixture and stir well.

- Add the zucchini and chocolate chips to remaining flour mixture. Toss to coat. Fold the zucchini and chips into the batter- it will be really thick so don't worry to much about mixing firmly.

- Spoon into prepared muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

- Pop the muffin cakes out (careful- they're hot) and cool on a wire rack. Eat immediately or exercise your will power by wrapping them tightly in foil- they keep well for a few days on the counter.

No comments: