Bitter Chocolate Mexican Zucchini Torte

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I deliberately planted minimal zucchinis this year – initially just one of the light green Mexican (Cucurbita pepo) heirloom plants.  Since then I’ve put another two in for late season crops of another variety called Cocozelle – which produces stunningly striped fruit.

Interestingly the Mexican zucchinis are supposed to be heat tolerant and this summer’s heat wave with the mercury hitting 46 degrees on one day certainly showed it to be resilient.  The only issue stopping me growing this variety again is the small super fine spikes which are nettle thin and even made it through my garden hardy fingers.  Gloves are a good idea until they’re inside and you can scrub the spines off with a scourer in water.

Being a big fan of baking with beetroot, I’ve been looking at another way of stuffing some fibre into sweet dishes to slow down the sugar hitting our systems…yes basically any excuse to continue eating chocolate cake.

This recipe has a few differences due to ingredients I had on hand, namely the addition of Tasmanian wholemeal spelt flour which I used for half of the flour requirement.  I’ve also used a tad less sugar than similar recipes so if you’re baking for really sweet tastes you may wish to substitute the 70% cocoa chocolate with higher sugar varieties i.e. normal cooking chocolate (milk or dark)

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Ingredients

2 cups of grated zucchini

2 eggs

1/2 cup of milk

125g grass fed butter (at room temp)

1 1/4 cups of Plain flour

1 1/4 cups of wholemeal spelt flour (I used Callington Mill’s organic stoneground wholegrain spelt from Tasmania)

Salt – pinch

1/2 tsp dutch cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 vanilla bean (or tsp of extract)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup 70% cocoa chocolate chopped

Method

Usual cake stuff applies; sift your dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together.

Cream butter with the sugar in a large bowl add the eggs and beat.  Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the lovely insides with a sharp knife and add.  Mix in the milk and then add the dry ingredients.

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Finally add the two cups of zucchini and grated chocolate.

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I used a spring form 26cm round tin (torte in Italy is ‘torta’ which means a round cake so how could I use a square tin!?)

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Cook at 165 degrees C (fan forced) for 40-50 mins until springy and a knife comes out clean when carefully stabbed!

I finished it with a ganache of dark chocolate melted into cream.

Best served with Creme Fraiche

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