Chocolate and zucchini together in a cake??? If you served this cake no one would ever guess that there was anything healthy about it at all. You can’t taste the zucchini, all you can taste are rich and moist decadent chocolate flavours.
Do you have children (or adults) in your house that you are trying to get to eat more greens. Sneak them in with this delicious recipe. The ganache topping is really simple to make as well and tops this cake off beautifully.
Serve this cake simply on it’s own for afternoon tea but it’s also lovely served slightly warm with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Because it is a rich, dense cake, it would also make a wonderful celebration or layer cake. I love to fill it with berries and cream for a really simple special occasion cake.
So how versatile is this recipe?
It’s a vegetable in disguise!
It tastes absolutely divine!
It’s sugar free with minimal impact on bloods sugar levels and.... it’s low in carbs.
This recipe is ideal for anyone who is diabetic or with a gluten intolerance. In fact, it’s just a darn fine recipe that will be appreciated by anyone who enjoys a decadent piece of chocolate cake.
A Versatile Recipe
This cake is ideal for a celebration cake, to be made into cup cakes or for a slab cake. You will have to vary the cooking times for different cake pan sizes.It makes the perfect cake for birthday or celebration cake, as it is quite dense and would layer really well.
Icing and Frosting Options
There are a couple of options for icing/frosting this cake. My personal favorite is a very simple dark chocolate ganache which is made from cream and dark chocolate. You can make it a runnier ganache, or thicker, depending on the ratio of cream to chocolate that you use. You could also try using my recipes for a Low Carb Cream Cheese Frosting or a Low Carb Buttercream Frosting.
This is a lovely moist cake, that isn’t quiet as rich as a couple of my other chocolate cake recipes which have much stronger dark chocolate flavors. I really enjoy a slice of this with a coffee and it is also fabulous as a dessert, simply zapped in the microwave for a few seconds and served with some whipped cream. If you want to up the chocolate flavors in this recipe, add an additional 1/4 cup of cocoa and use Dutch processed cocoa powder. Chocolate chips could also be added to the recipe.
As with any cake recipe that features olive oil, make sure you use a light flavored extra virgin olive oil. Make sure that you don’t use a processed “Light Olive Oil”, or you are going to be very dissapointed with the flavors.
My favorite oil to use in Australia is the Cobram Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the mildest flavor. It works perfectly in baking cakes like this one because it is so mild in flavor. If you struggle to find a mild tasting olive oil, you can also switch the oil for melted butter, or even a combination of oil and chocolate.
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 5 minutes
- 2 small zucchini/courgette approximately 300 gms /10 oz squeeze out excess water if required
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 175 ml EVOO- extra virgin olive oil light in flavour (not light olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee coffee helps lift the chocolate flavors
- 250 gms almond meal/almond flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 75 gms cocoa powder unsweetened or cacao powder/Dutch processed powder
- 4 tablespoons Stevia Blend or alternative sweetener such as a monkfruit blend
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon ground
- ½ teaspoon allspice powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
- 100 mls full fat pure/heavy cream
- 75 gms dark chocolate 80% couveture or more
To Make the Cake
Preheat the oven to 170 C/ 340 F fan forced oven
Grate the zucchini/courgette. If there is too much moisture in the zucchini, squeeze some of the juice out. See notes for further details.
Beat eggs with a hand mixer for 3 minutes in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Dissolve the instant coffee in the boiling water and allow to cool slightly.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well combined, ensuring there are no lumps and the baking powder and soda are well distributed.
Add the EVOO-oil, vanilla extract, dissolved coffee and zucchini to the eggs and beat with the hand mixer until combined.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until really well combined.
Pour into a greased and lined 8” or 9” baking pan and smooth out the top ensuring there aren’t any air bubbles.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the cake is cooked in the centre.
Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes then leave to cool on a cooling rack. Top the cake with ganache when it has completely cooled down.
To Make the Ganache
Heat up the cream just to below the boil (don't boil or you will have lumps in your gananche) and remove from heat (or microwave) and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has blended with the cream, and allow to cool before using.
Drizzle the ganache on before it thickens for a drizzle finish or allow ganache to cool in the fridge to a slightly thicker consistency before icing the cake. This is enough ganache for a thin coating on top of the cake.
Note that you can make a stiffer ganache by increasing the amount of chocolate you add, ie., make it 1 :1 cream to chocolate (2.5 oz/75 gms of each) for a stiffer ganache or make it 2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream (3.5 oz/100 gms chocolate to 1.8 oz/50gms cream) for a much stiffer and pipeable ganache. You can also make it thinner and more like a pourable chocolate sauce by using 1 part cream to .5 amount chocolate (ie, 3.5 oz/100 gms cream to 1.8 oz/50 gms chocolate.)
This cake tastes lovely served as it is fresh from the oven, or when iced or frosted.
Try serving it simply with a dollop of cream, marscapone or some icecream.
For a delicious hot dessert, simply zap in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up and serve with whipped cream. If you haven't ganached it, pour some of the pourable chocolate sauce over the top to serve.
If using erythritol or xylitol as the sweetener, add 3/4 cup.
Add 1/2 cup of dark choc chips for variation. You can make your own by cutting up a dark chocolate bar.
For a richer chocolate taste, increase the cocoa to 1 cup or 100 grams/3.5 oz. Dutch processed cocoa will you give richer chocolate flavors and is the queen of cocoa powder.