March 01, 2007

The Return of the Mighty Zucchini

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Is it a savoury cake? Is it a quick bread? I guess my answer would have to be a little of column A and a little of column B, but for our purposes today, it’s a savoury cheddar zucchini cake. That’s because Meeta of What’s For Lunch Honey? has selected savoury cakes as the theme for this month’s mingle. I got the recipe from a Chatelaine magazine that I read at my Grandma’s house this past summer. At that point, pretty much everything I made had zucchini in it. I had so much zucchini that I was forcing it onto other people, whether they liked it or not. As anyone who’s ever grown zucchini can tell you, it will take over your garden and grow to monstrous proportions. You just can’t eat the stuff fast enough. I suspect that if I dug through the 3 feet of snow that is currently blanketing my garden I would find that the zucchini are still propagating like mad. It got to the point where I had to start hiding the zucchini because I just couldn’t eat anymore of it at the time, but I couldn’t stand to see it go to waste either. So I would hide the zucchini at other people’s houses when I went to visit and I would play nicky nicky nine doors and leave zucchini on the stoop. When people started finding my little gifts and pelting my house with zucchini I knew I had to find somewhere else to store the green beasts. I subsequently began hiding zucchini in the freezer in order to keep the peace. Don’t get me wrong, I like zucchini, I just can’t eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for months on end. So it went into the freezer, not to be seen again until Meeta announced that savoury cakes were the challenge of the month.

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I had made Margaret’s Sharp Cheddar Zucchini Bread from the August issue of Chatelaine once before, and although the taste was very good, it was as dense as a brick and absolutely refused to come out of the pan. Ordinarily that would have been the end of my relationship with that bread right then and there, but the week after I made it, a friend of mine also made the bread, and hers was perfect. It was light and fluffy and looked just like it did in the magazine. At first I was annoyed that I had been shown up. Nobody likes to lose. But then I vowed that one day I would conquer the recipe and that time has come. It was also a perfect opportunity to use my new mini loaf pan, (another outlet sale, buy one get one free, I also got a jelly roll pan). I’m happy to announce that this time around, my Cheddar Zucchini Cake was a great success! I tweaked the recipe a little though. Somehow I managed to make it healthier AND better tasting than the original. That doesn’t happen very often.

Bri’s Cheddar Zucchini Cake (Adapted from Chatelaine)

1 cup grated zucchini

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each baking soda and ground nutmeg

1/4 cup (50 mL) each brown and granulated sugar

2 cups (500 mL) grated old cheddar cheese

2 egg whites

1/3 cup (75 mL) vegetable oil

1.Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly coat mini loaf pans with oil.

2.In a large bowl, using a fork, stir flours with baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg. Stir in brown and granulated sugars. Then stir in zucchini and 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cheese.

3.In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy and then whisk in 1/3 cup (75 mL) oil. Pour over flour mixture and stir just until mixed. Batter will be thick. If it’s still a little dry, add a splash of milk. Do not overmix. Scrape into prepared loaf pans. Smooth top as best you can, then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

4.Bake in centre of preheated oven until a cake tester inserted into centre of loaf comes out clean, 23 to 28 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Then carefully turn loaves onto a cooling rack.

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Helene said...

That is very tempting, bfast, lunch or dinner! Yummmm!

K & S said...

ooh, this looks wonderful!

joey said...

I have yet to try a savory cake...and one with zucchini! This looks really good...must make one :) Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

You can "hide" some zucchinis on my doorstep (leave some cake too) :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yeah, I'm with Joey. Please hide some zucchini on my doorstep and leave a little cake too.
Love zucchini. The savory is new for me for zucchini bread but I like that.

Lydia said...

How did you freeze your zucchini? Whenever I try to freeze, I end up with a kind of watery defrosted mess.

Lis said...

Ohhh that sounds sooooo good! Quite frankly, I didn't really know what Meeta meant by "savory" cakes - I was thinking more along the lines of a meatloaf, fer crissakes. har! Now I understand - and now I will make cheddar/zucchini cake this summer!

s'kat said...

What a natural pairing! I'm with the rest, I'll take care of your excess zucchini!!

Rachel said...

YUM! I love the cheddar and zucchini combo.

gilly said...

Yum, yum, and yum! I love how moist zucchini makes bread - great recipe, Bri!

Cupcake Chick (Cheryl) said...

I don't think I have ever had very many savory cakes.

Yours look fantastic. You make me crave zucchini.

Homesick Texan said...

I can just imagine this toasted with garlic cream cheese and a tomato. Yum!

Peabody said...

When I lived in AZ no one grew zucchini but now that I live in WA everyone trys to give it to me...I love it.

Brilynn said...

Lydia- To freeze my zucchini I usually shred it first and the pack it into freezer bags. And then I drain it when I thaw it out, or use it frozen, straight from the freezer.

Kristen said...

Those are great looking mini loafs!

Ellie said...

These look and sound awesome! Mmm, a slice of this, toasted, with a slathering of cream cheese...

emily said...

I love cheddar and zucchini bread as opposed to sweet zucchini bread, which seems to be more common - scallions also are yummy in there! They look really cute.

Meeta said...

Boy oh boy! This looks great and zucchini rocks! You don't have to hide any for me - just bring em along to the MM! Thank you!