Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Squash Killer [RECIPE]

You know I took down the Magnificent Squash Bug Attracter (aka the Ronde de Italia squash) long, long ago when I got tired of ker-smashing the beetles that were multiplying between its every fold, but alas, the farm share has ensured that I still have lots of squash.

And might I just say that THANK GOD I pulled that squash plant when I did because otherwise I'd be in big trouble right now with the fatness

Why the fatness? Well, let me tell you.

I've found the best way to get rid of loads of squash (zucchini, crookneck, whathaveyou) is to shred it with The More Trouble Than It's Worth Mandolin and put it into chocolate cake.

Because everyone loves chocolate cake and since they don't know that there's evil monster squash inside, they eat it all up like WOO CHOCOLATE CAKE and I go WOO THE SQUASH IS GONE and then WOO MY PANTS FEEL TIGHT because I love chocolate cake, too. Whoopsy.

But the satisfaction I get from stowing two or three huge squash in something that will be readily disposed of is extreme, and so I carry on. Let's hope my jeans make it through squash season. 

Wow. That's something I've never said before. 


If you want to hide all your squash in a cake (and let's face it, who doesn't? It's very fun.) maybe try this recipe from my favorite cookbook of all time so far, Serving up the Harvest by Andrea Chessman (thank you, Jeph!). 

This time around I actually almost followed the recipe to a T, or whatever, because it was the first time I made it, so I wanted to make sure I knew what it was supposed to taste like before I started fucking with things and got a cake that tasted like a good ol' horse's ass or something.

If you want to know what I'll do next time (you want to know. Go on now.), I'll be swapping the butter with nonfat plain Greek yogurt because The Pioneer Woman says so and also I did this on a recent brownie recipe and YUM. Later on that though, let's make the cake.

Or rather, the cupcakes. I find a whole cake is hard to give away, so I make cupcakes. It helps my jeans to fit.

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
Adapted from the Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake recipe
in Serving up the Harvest, Andrea Chesman

2 1/2 C flour
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 C brown sugar (make sure you have this before you make the whole recipe)
1/2 C butter (or, in the future, maybe nonfat plain Greek yogurt)
2 eggs
2 oz baking chocolate, melted + cooled
1 t vanilla extract
1 C coffee
3 C grated squash (WOO)

To make:
Preheat oven to 350

Grease your cupcake tins (this made almost 2 dozen) in whatever fashion suits you. I just tried that Pillsbury Flour spray or whatever and really liked it. There's some purported No Fat Cooking going on there, but who knows what that means.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. And really sift it using a sifter or something because it mixes it nice and gets rid of lumps. No one wants to eat a lump of baking powder, y'all. That's nasty.

I have no lumps.

Beat together the brown sugar and butter in a mixer and add the eggs one at a time until they're combined. Add in the chocolate and vanilla until combined and then switch off adding the coffee and flour mixture until it's all in there. Scrape down the bowl and then mix in the squash. 

Pour the whole mess into the cupcake tin and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the toothpick does the Coming Out Clean thing. 

Allow to cool and watch for Cupcake Monsters that do shit like this:

Our Cupcake Monster is called Bubba.

And then, once they're cooled and you want to impress people, add some powdered sugar to the top to be fancy. If you want, you can use the FANCE method I learned while standing in line at the store.

See, as I was buying the brown sugar I thought I had but didn't and was soothing my aggravated soul with a free sample reading of Real Simple, I came across this month's New Uses for Old Things (best magazine section ever methinks) that was to use a tea ball to shake powdered sugar over things. 

I do believe I said aloud to myself: YES. I WILL DO THIS. 

And then I did. See below.

Tee dah! That shit is perfect.

But, if you're just going to be shoving all the cupcakes into a zippy bag and taking them to work to pawn off on your coworkers who still fit in their jeans, feel free to ditch the fancy ass sugar and just leave them plain. They're still real good. Promise. I even ate one in the car to prove it - so there.

Now go love on your zucchini. GO.


  1. Oh my GOD, those look so delicious. I had no idea you could put squashes in cake. Next time I'm in the mood for chocolate cake, I will make those. Thanks.

  2. Why, that is bestest-looking squash I have ever seen! My oh my.

  3. We don't grow zucchini, else I would surely do this. I remember and old boss of mine was on Weight Watchers, and they had some recipe where the eggs and oil in boxed cake mix were replaced with pureed pumpkin. They were surprisingly good. But not as good as the MiL's chocolate cake, which is made with . . . brace yourself . . . lard. YUM.

  4. In the words of my wise young daughter (when she was around three): "Those looks like the best cupcakes I never had!"

  5. Shredded zukes also work wonders in cookies. I've made chocolate chip and oatmeal with them. They also work miracles in apple pies. Just chop them up into chucks and chuck in.

  6. Wow - that looks reaaaaally good. AND it's another thing out of the cookbook I owned before you, yet you've made before me! (Eh, I haven't been getting as much new, creative cooking in lately) DEFINITELY gotta make those with the monster zuke that slipped past me til recently. It's either that or a dark green caveman club?

    And the next thing I want to try making with zucchini?


    HOW GOOD does that look/sound!?

  7. No, no, NO! Zucchini should NEVER disguise itself as something yummy. Zucchini is evil and must be destroyed. It should not be encouraged to masquerade as dessert. That is just plain wrong!

  8. I just made this but swapped out half the butter for applesauce. While it's not as awesome as the non-fat greek yogurt for butter swap you talk about in the Brownie post' it's a good tip my mama taught me- *most of the time you can substitute applesauce for 1/2 the fat in a baking recipe*

  9. These look wonderful, Finny. I definitely need to make some. But since I'm the only farmgirl on the planet who plants a huge garden and then has to buy zucchini, I'm wondering if this would work with the heirloom Italian 'eight ball' type squash I let get way bigger than an eight ball because I had no idea what I was growing. : ) Maybe if I don't use the tough skin?

    P.S. I couldn't comment on your blackberry pie post a while back. I had to shut down the page and can't force myself to go back. It was too depressing considering your pie was a zillion miles from my mouth. ; )

    P.P.S. Re that chanterelle pie I once made - all I remember is a vague sense of total, utter, sublimeness (is that a word?) when devouring it - and that it was truly a chanterelle pie, not a some-other-kind-of-pie with a few mushrooms thrown in. No actual recipe. Just make a cream sauce with a lot of butter, add the mushrooms, and toss it in a homemade pie crust, then put lattice or a double crust on top. OMG was it good.

  10. You are making me very, very hungry.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.