Chocolate – I live for chocolate. I adore it with all of my heart and stomach. I can blame my genes. My grandfather also had a deep love of all things chocolate. Vegetables? He wasn’t so fond of those. So it was with a little snicker one year that my mom made him a delicious zucchini chocolate cake. With the flavourless zucchini safely tucked into the cake, making it moist and lovely, my grandfather didn’t notice its presence. It was only after his second helping that my mother alerted him to the addition of the offending vegetable.
Now, I’m no vegetable-hater. In fact, I get a large share of vegetables from a local farm every week. And I know that chocolate is good for me – after all, it contains antioxidants, right? However, if I can add fruit or vegetables to my chocolate cake and make it taste even better while adding more nutrition, all the better. Here are some sneaky and delicious additions to any chocolate cake recipe.
Zucchini In Chocolate Cake?
There are two tricks to integrating zucchini. Zucchini is wet, so it’s best to use this vegetable to substitute for some of the milk or water in the cake batter. Grated zucchini will add a lovely, moist texture to your cake. Zucchini is also nearly flavourless. This makes it incredibly versatile. You don’t need to be concerned about impacting the taste of your cake.
Squash Makes Cake Into Fabulous Brownies
Squash seems too bland to go in chocolate cake, and too heavy. Small amounts of blended squash can add a smooth, rich texture to a cake. Adding squash will give a brownie-like texture to your chocolate cake, so be aware of this and reduce the thickness to the cake.
Blueberries Add More Sweetness to a Rich Dessert
Blueberries add sweetness and even more antioxidants to your chocolate cake. They are dark, so they don’t show up much in the cake batter, especially when mashed. And very few people would take offence to a blueberry even if it did show up in their cake! If the blueberries are fresh, they should be mashed. If they are frozen, they are often quite squishy, so reduce the amount of other wet ingredients such as milk and water.
Bananas Are Mild, Sweet, and Delicious!
Bananas are an easy addition to just about any sweet recipe. Mash them up and use them in lieu of a little bit of the sugar. Blend them well, though, because they are lumpier than sugar and tend to add a somewhat bumpy texture to a cake.
The Sweet and Sour Cranberry Chocolate Cake
Adding cranberries to a chocolate cake will add a delightful and tangy twist to your cake. Yes, they’ll likely be noticeable. You may need more sugar – or add some banana to sweeten the cake with natural sugars. However, cranberries add a startling sour to go with the sweet, excellent for recipes that call for a very dark chocolate cake.
Orange Loves Chocolate
Last but not least, the orange. The chocolate orange is a favorite at Christmas time, at least around these parts. Adding fresh orange juice to your icing is a sure way to create an icing is light and perfectly complements your cake. Delicious!
How many of these delightful vegetables and fruits do you add? Be brave! I tend to cook without a recipe a lot of the time, or I modify existing recipes willy-nilly. It helps that my family is understanding and eats just about anything, especially if it involves cake. Begin by substituting half a cup of vegetables or fruit for some of the wet ingredients in the recipe, then stretch to see how much you can add without impacting flavour and texture.