all’s well that end’s well in zucchini ::::
The flashing arc of light began in my central vision in the afternoon. The headache had recently faded, barely noticeable. Over the course of 45 min, the arc widened like a bird in flight, wings opening, then landed in my left visual field. The flashes, this metamorphosia, sat there distorting my vision, like water in goggles that I couldn’t dry. Eyes open or closed, the flashes remained.
It is rare that I have a migraine headache at all, even more rare to have an aura with it. Even rarer still, I experience an aura without the headache. The last time this happened was just after Sky-Girl was born, twice in the course of a month. My zucchini metamorphosia is also coming to an end. I am ending my zucchini month with a cake, one that is not migraine-inducing at all for me. I’m picky about my cakes, and this one is definitely one to make again and again. While it is wonderful on its own with a drizzle of icing, feel free to top with whipped cream. I pair the memory of chocolate cake and whipped cream with scent: the light, airy smell of freshly whipped cream mingled with the sweet earthy aroma of chocolate evokes childhood birthdays.
Some tips: my portion of monster zucchini used was frozen and thus more mushy and juicy after thawing. I gave this zucchini a really good squeeze. Unlike the latkes where you want really dry zucchini, the cake needs zucchini with some moisture but not too much. The flavor is also deep and rich, given the addition of brown sugar. This is also a good “counter cake”: it sits well at room temperature for a couple of days for snacking, that is, if it lasts that long.
This recipe is from the delightful Simply Recipes website.
- CAKE: 2½ cups regular all-purpose flour, unsifted
- ½ cup baking cocoa
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup soft butter
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- 3 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (from about 1 pound of zucchini)
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- GLAZE: 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- a sprinkle of chopped walnuts, optional
- CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Drain the shredded zucchini in a colander. If using previously frozen zucchini, make sure it is well drained. Squeeze out the liquid so that the zucchini is not soggy but has a little moisture.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl, and set aside.
- With a mixer, beat together the butter and the sugars until smooth and pale in color. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla, orange peel, and zucchini.
- Alternately stir in the dry ingredients and the milk into the zucchini mixture, including the nuts with the last addition. This mixture may look curdled while you are mixing; that's okay.
- Butter the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan or tube pan. Pour in the batter and use a rubber spatula to level the top of the batter. My batter seemed a bit loose to do this, but yours may be thicker. Bake in the oven for about 50-55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. I tested at 45 minutes as my oven tends to run hot, but the cake still needed some time. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then turn out on wire rack to cool thoroughly.
- GLAZE: Whisk powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla together. If the glaze is too runny, add some more powdered sugar. If too thick, add more milk. Drizzle glaze over cake. Top with chopped walnuts, if using.