Copyright Rita Woodburne
Happy Friday again, dear reader!
So I suppose you’re wondering about this Chocolate Zucchini cake I was talking about, aren’t you? Well, you’re going to have to wait a little longer...
In today’s gardening post I’m going to touch on second crops again with the focus this time being on beets.
In some regions, like here in good ol’ 5b, the first crop of beets are still growing, but they’re getting close to being ready for picking. Like the peas, perhaps you think you don’t have enough and would like more for freezing to be used in winter months (mmmm, borscht) or for pickling. Unlike peas, however, beets are much more tolerant of warm weather making them ideal for yielding a decent second crop. With that in mind, you can plant your second crop now if you have the space available and if not, you can plant your second beet crop a day or two after picking the first.
All the same planting guidelines still apply but be cautious of using too much composted material as that and hot weather can potentially lead to scalding the soil and your plants. If you worked a fair bit of composted material into the soil in Spring don’t even worry about adding more at this point. Turn the soil well and plant your beet seed by placing it on top of the soil and pushing the seed into the ground. Then, simply water as you would normally and wait for those little beets to start popping up.
The plus side of doing a later crop is that the beets will probably be ready for picking in mid fall and because they’re a root crop the flavour of them is actually improved by light frosts. Bonus!
Now, as for that cake....
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups white sugar
* 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 4 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
* 3 cups grated zucchini
* 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with your favorite frosting.
If you don’t care for walnuts you can omit them or replace them with chocolate chips and if you don’t want to use so much oil (I know I never do) just use 1/2 cup oil and 1 cup applesauce. I promise it won't taste low-fat.
As far as icing it goes you can use whatever you like. Sometimes I eat it plain, sometimes with chocolate icing and when I'm feeling really decadent I use cream cheese icing.
The flavour and texture of this, to me, is reminiscent of a German Chocolate cake. A chocolate flavour that isn’t overwhelming, nice texture and a cake that isn’t too dense. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Speaking of recipes that use the bounty of summer, I invite you readers out there to submit recipes to me (my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org) and, in turn, I’ll publish them on my blog during a gardening post and with the recipe I will also give credit and provide a link to your blog and/ or website. Recipes can be desserts, side dishes, main courses, snacks, you name it! Just wanted to throw that out there for those that might be interested.
As for next week, and I’ve had a hard time keeping mum about this, I’ll be sharing portions of a new series I’ve been working on and some personal artistic exploration and discovery that I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing. A teaser? You betcha, so be sure to come back next week and find out what the heck has been going on in my little corner of the artsy-fartsy universe!
...gotta go make some cake...