Want an exceptionally moist chocolate cupcake? All you need do is add zucchini. I kid you not!
It’s the zucchini (or courgettes as we refer to them Down Under) that delivers the incredible moistness to this dark chocolate cupcake. But, in case you’re wondering, you won’t actually taste the zucchini. It’s in there providing some honest to goodness health benefits, but it tastes for all the world like decadent chocolate cake.
And, if eating veges isn’t enough, the cupcake itself is dairy free, gluten-free and refined sugar free. Okay, I have to confess I added a sweetened mascarpone cream on top, which I added simply because I found the cake, in all its chocolatey glory, just a tad intense. Not in a bad way you understand… just in the way that really dark chocolate is a little bitter.
Actually, it was for that reason that I was convinced my sweet-toothed family wouldn’t like the cupcakes, but as it turned out they LOVED them and scoffed the lot! If, however, you’re not fussed on the intensity of deep, dark chocolate, I’d suggest you reduce the cocoa a little and/or increase the sweetness – a little added honey would be nice.
Thanks to Eleanor Ozich for the recipe which I found on NZ Herald.co.nz. It was fun trying out something a bit different and I’m keen to try some more ‘hidden vege’ cakes in the near future. Enjoy!
- 2 cups of roughly chopped zucchini (about 3 regular sized zucchini)
- ½ cup coconut oil or butter, melted
- 2 cups ground almonds (almond meal)
- 1 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 4 free range eggs
- 1 cup cocoa
- 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
- 200g (8 oz) mascarpone cheese
- 2/3 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar), or to taste
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F), and place 16 cupcake cases (mine were 1/3 cup size) into muffin pan/s.
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until very smooth.
- Pour mixture (it's quite liquid) into a pouring jug and divide mixture between the cases (leave a gap of about a half inch as they do rise a little).
- Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes (mine took 35 mins) or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
- Remove cupcake cases from muffin pan and stand on wire rack to cool.
- In a medium bowl beat mascarpone cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined. Set to one side.
- In a separate bowl, beat cream until firm peaks form, but don't overwhip. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until combined. If not using straight away, store in the fridge.
- Put cream mixture into a piping bag and with a tip of your choice pipe the cream onto the cooled cakes. Put cupcakes into fridge for the cream to set firm, then serve.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting