October 4, 2011

Zucchini Cake with Orange Glaze

     Hello!  It's Recipe Tuesday and today's recipe is one  found in the August issue of Martha Stewart Living.
Originally, the Zucchini Cake recipe calls for a bundt pan but since that seems to be the one pan we don't own, I used my angel food cake pan instead.  The recipe also called for anise seeds and cardamom (optional).  I'll be honest and say that I'm not a fan of anise and I have no idea what cardamom is so I don't use either when making the cake.  I haven't had any complaints that is was missing something so I'm thinking it's just fine to delete these two ingredients! 
     And speaking of flavor, this cake is so moist and dense and yet the flavor is very light, you can hardly tell there's a vegetable in it!  It's the perfect way to get your child to eat veggies!
     And then there's the glaze... it is absolutely amazing, just a light hint of orange.  The original recipe calls for milk but I caution you about using this.  Because milk needs to be refrigerated, if you make the glaze with this you will need to keep the cake in the fridge, especially during warm summer months.  To avoid this need, I use water instead (there's no difference in taste); this allows you to store the cake in a covered container on the counter until it's gone (which was only two days at our house).

Zucchini Cake
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2-1/2 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp anise seeds
1/8 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
2 medium zucchini
3 large eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp grated orange zest
1 tbsp orange juice

1.  Preheat oven to 325 and grease bundt pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, spices and 1 tsp salt.

2. Grate zucchini on the large holes of a box grater, then squeeze dry in a clean paper towel (you will need 2-1/2 cups).

3. Stir together eggs and sugar, then stir in melted butter, zucchini, orange zest and juice.  Stir in flour mixture, transfer batter to pan.

4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour (cake will rise quite a bit but should not run over).  Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.  Loosen cake, turn out onto wire rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes.

Orange Glaze
1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 pinches ground cardamom (optional)
1/4 tsp finely grated orange zest

3 tbsp fresh orange juice
Whole milk, as needed for thinning (I use water)

1. Whisk together sugar and cardamom.  Whisk in orange zest and juice; combine until mixture has the consistency of thick honey.  If mixture is too thick, use milk/water, 1 tsp at a time.

2. Brush or pour glaze evenly over cake. 

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