Avocado and Zucchini Chocolate Cake

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Pretty proud of this one! I’ve been reading a lot of Poppy’s blog lately (bunnykitchen.com). I really like her innovative use of ingredients that you wouldn’t really expect otherwise, and pushing the boundaries of vegan food. Even though I’m not vegan myself I love a lot of vegan food, especially when it involves a lot of fresh produce (and cake).

My parents are market gardeners, and after I visited them a couple weeks ago I had a heap of produce leftover that were destined for the bin if I didn’t use them up! Like most cakes, it doesn’t matter too much if your veggies have turned for the worse a little, so it’s a great way to use up large amounts of veg in one go. Brilliant!

This cake is inspired by Poppy’s beetroot and avocado cake. I swapped out a few ingredients and it still came out deliciously moist and rich. The avocado acts as a healthy replacement for margarine, which isn’t all that great for you. It’s great for vegan cakes where butter is obviously not an option.

The dark chocolate ganache is super simple but really rich. It can be a bit bitter, so I added agave nectar to sweeten it (you can use any kind of sweetener really).

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Avocado and Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups flour (I used self-raising)
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1 cup zucchini, grated
1/4 cup sunflower oil (any flavourless oil is okay)
1 cup liquid sweetener (I used half cup agave nectar, and half vanilla sugar syrup I just happened to have in my fridge haha)
2 tsp vanilla extract/essence.

Method:

Preheat oven to 175°C.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour through to salt).
Add wet ingredients (everything else), and mix until combined well.
Spray a 20cm springform tin with olive/canola oil and spoon cake mix into tin, smoothing down the top as much as possible (I didn’t do this and as a result the top of my cake was really lumpy and ugly).
Bake for about 45 mins, checking every 10-15 mins with a skewer. Cake is done when the skewer comes out cleanly.
Put cake on a rack to cool for 5 mins or so, then take it out of the springform tin on the rack to cool completely.
Decorate with ganache and sprinkles of dessicated coconut.

Vegan Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

300g dark chocolate (I used 200g of 70% and 100g 85%)
100g coconut cream
2 tbsp liquid sweetener (optional)

Method:

Melt chocolate down in a small pot on a very low heat, stirring often and taking care not to burn it (you can microwave, but I find that really erratic and potentially messy).
Once completely melted, take it off heat and add coconut cream and liquid sweetener (if using), stirring quickly until it forms a thick ganache.
Spread on cake while warm as it hardens as it cools.

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