Orange-Pecan Zucchini Cake: Seasonal Chef Recipe

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Fall has arrived. There is a slight chill in the air most mornings and the farmers markets are certainly transitioning. Noodling around the web for an idea to use zucchini for a recent cooking class at Hilltop Hanover Farm, I came across a zucchini cake recipe made originally by Gina DePalma, and adapted by David Lebovitz. Gina De Palma is a James Beard winner and former pastry chef from Babbo, in NYC. I had the pleasure of meeting her once before Tarry Lodge opened, and taught many of her dessert recipes to the cooks making them, after. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me, but I certainly remember her. The recipe I found was perfect for the class, and everyone loved it.

I decided to put my own twist on the recipe and subbed the lemon for orange, in the cake and also the glaze. Either way this recipe is a keeper! To read more about the evolution of this recipe click this link: End of Season Zucchini.

Buon Appetito!

One year ago: Cinderella Pumpkin
Two years ago: Tomatillo
Three years ago: Turnips

Orange-Pecan Zucchini Cake: Seasonal Chef Recipe

Yield: 3 loaf pans or 1 bundt and 1 loaf pan

This is a perfect way to use your end of season zucchini. Consider making this small loaf pans and freezing for Holiday gifts.

Ingredients

  • For the cake:
  • 2 cups pecans, toasted and cooled
  • 5 cups grated zucchini
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cup orange-infused extra-virgin olive oil (see note)
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
  • For the orange glaze:
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar (see note)
  • 2 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry orange zest (see note

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease three loaf pans with non-stick spray or butter, dust with flour, then tap out any excess.
  2. In a food processor pulse the pecans 4-6 times until broken up and finely chopped. Take care to not over process them to a paste.
  3. Change the blade in your processor to the grating disc and grate the zucchini.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and set aside.
  5. 5. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs for 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat another 3-4 minuted, or until it looks pale yellow and silky. Slowly add the oil in a stream and until light and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the mixer, then add the vanilla.
  6. Mix in the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl to make sure everything is mixed in well, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  7. Stir in the chopped nuts and zucchini.
  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, smooth the top, then bake the cake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  9. During the last few minutes of the cake baking, make the glaze by whisking together the orange juice, sugar, powdered sugar and zest.
  10. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes, then carefully invert it onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Brush the glaze over the cake with a pastry brush and let the cake cool completely.

Notes

The cake can be wrapped (or put under a cake dome) and will keep for a few days. If you do wrap it beware, the glaze with get a little sticky. You can freeze the unglazed cake (s) for another time. To apply the glaze, defrost the cake then warm it just a little so the glaze will adhere. --- Sicilian orange olive oil or blood orange olive oil and coconut sugar can be found at Whole Foods or on line. The orange zest I used is from Penzeys. Also purchased on line. If using fresh zest double the amount.

http://food.lohudblogs.com/2015/09/30/zucchini-cake-seasonal-chef-recipe/

Orange-Pecan Zucchini Cake with Orange Glaze
Makes 3 loaf pans

For the cake:
2 cups pecans, toasted and cooled
5 cups grated zucchini
4 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 large eggs
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cup orange-infused extra-virgin olive oil (see note)
½ cup canola oil
1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract

For the orange glaze:
½ cup orange juice
2/3 cup coconut sugar (see note)
2 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
1 teaspoon dry orange zest (see note)

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease three loaf pans with non-stick spray or butter, dust with flour, then tap out any excess.
2. In a food processor pulse the pecans 4-6 times until broken up and finely chopped. Take care to not over process them to a paste.
3. Change the blade in your processor to the grating disc and grate the zucchini.
4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and set aside.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs for 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat another 3-4 minuted, or until it looks pale yellow and silky. Slowly add the oil in a stream and until light and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the mixer, then add the vanilla.
6. Mix in the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl to make sure everything is mixed in well, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
7. Stir in the chopped nuts and zucchini.
8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, smooth the top, then bake the cake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.
9. During the last few minutes of the cake baking, make the glaze by whisking together the orange juice, sugar, powdered sugar and zest.
10. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes, then carefully invert it onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Brush the glaze over the cake with a pastry brush and let the cake cool completely.

The cake can be wrapped (or put under a cake dome) and will keep for a few days. If you do wrap it beware, the glaze with get a little sticky. You can freeze the unglazed cake (s) for another time. To apply the glaze, defrost the cake then warm it just a little so the glaze will adhere.

Cook’s note: Sicilian orange olive oil or blood orange olive oil and coconut sugar can be found at Whole Foods or on line. The orange zest I used is from Penzeys. Also purched on line. If using fresh zest double the amount.

Recipe adapted from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma via David Lebovitz.

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About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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