It startles me how vividly some memories come back to life while perusing the recipe files. Aside from being a terrific recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake, reading this one made me laugh out loud as I remembered that it was this cake that introduced me to my Mom’s more devious side.
To set the scene…
Mom never veered too far from her “tried and true” recipes when it came to baking – Boiled Raisin Cookies and Banana Loaf that previously featured in this blog were seen most often. So it was somewhat unusual when a chocolate cake made an appearance, mid-week, without a birthday or celebration in sight. And I specifically remember Mom being quite eager for everyone to make sure they tried a piece.
I was probably in my early teens when this cake made it’s first appearance in our home, I didn’t have much of a sweet tooth and certainly hadn’t discovered the tastiness of “fringe vegetables” like zucchini. Having no idea there might be unusual ingredients involved I gave this densely chocolate, extremely moist cake an enthusiastic thumbs up. But I don’t think I immediately noticed the extra glee Mom took in my enjoyment. Even stranger was that at some point in the following weeks when I needed to take something for a class bake sale, it was this cake offered up in place of one of the expected standards mentioned above. Something was definitely afoot!
Mom finally spilled the beans, or the squash, about the secret ingredient – zucchini! There was a twinkle in her eye and smile on her face that simply said “gotcha” as she detailed how the green vegetable was what made the cake so moist. The recipe had come from one of the neighbours and likely given with the added benefit, “they’ll never know they’re eating vegetables – wink wink”!
I doubt that I immediately jumped on the zucchini bandwagon, but I did learn a bit more about a vegetable that hadn’t previously had much impact on our grocery list and has since become one of my favourites. Interestingly, this cake was probably made at summer’s end when neighbours with gardens were looking to offload excess amounts of squash, but as zucchini is so readily available all year now there’s no excuse to not enjoy this great cake any time!