Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake

 
This is the sixth summer recipe in partnership with  Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program .

This is the sixth summer recipe in partnership with Grey Arrow Farm’s CSA program.

Doesn’t it feel just a little bit better knowing that those garden vegetables are making their way into a chocolatey dessert!

This recipe is special to me, because chocolate zucchini cake will always remind me of my grandma. In fact, she was the one who told me about the tip on shredding zucchini by the cup and freezing it for later use in the winter. Every time I eat a chocolate zucchini cake, a memory of her always pops up.

Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake

  • ½ cup butter

  • ½ vegetable oil

  • 1 ¾ cup sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 cups of your favourite shredded courgettes (zucchini/patty pan squash)

  • ½ cup buttermilk

  • 4 tbs cocoa powder

  • 2 ½ cup flour

  • ½ tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Top with chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9” x 13” pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In another bowl, beat together sugar, butter and oil until smooth. Add eggs and beat until incorporated. Stir in buttermilk and flour mixture. Fold in shredded courgettes.

Pour into pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake for 45 minute to an hour, until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Chocolate Oat Waffles with Toasted Hazelnuts

 

These decadent chocolate oat waffles are perfect for that special breakfast occasion. The batter makes for the fluffiest of waffles on the inside, but with that classic crispy waffle crunch on the outside. Topped with the perfect pairing of toasted hazelnuts with a hint of sugar and vanilla. Finish with some whipped cream, fresh berries and a drizzle of syrup and you are in waffle heaven.

This post was made in partnership with PADERNO. Oh, what kitchen magic you can make with a few high-quality appliances. I’ve been working with them for almost a year now, and I can honestly say I’m in love with their products. Not only are they a Canadian company, but their new line of small appliances is also amazing. With the 3-Cup Food Chopper, you can make your oat flour at home. It’s compact and lightweight making it perfect for everyday use.

I also used the PADERNO 10-Speed Hand Mixer to beat the egg whites. This is the secret trick to fluffy waffles! The hand mixer has a digital timer that lets you easily track your mixing times too!

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Chocolate Oat Waffles with Toasted Hazelnuts

Oat Flour

  • 2 cups rolled oats (will yield 1 cup oat flour 1 cup coarse oatmeal).

Pulse oats in a food chopper until they become a fine powder or flour-like consistency. Sift the oat flour into a bowl to separate any larger pieces. I like to use the oatmeal for overnight oats and breakfast cereal. Store in an airtight container.

Toasted Hazelnuts  

  • 1 cups raw hazelnuts

  • 1 tbs coconut oil, melted

  • 1 tbs sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil and add hazelnuts, sugar, and vanilla. Toast until golden and fragrant, stirring frequently.  

Waffle Batter

  • 1 cup oat flour

  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

  • ¼ cup chocolate chips

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 2 eggs, separated

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 tbs olive oil

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • Pinch of salt

Preheat your waffle iron.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (oat flour, whole-wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt).

In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (egg yolks, buttermilk, olive oil, and vanilla). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. TIP– Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes to allow the oat flour to soak up the liquid.

In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites, on medium speed using a hand mixer, until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, just until combined.  

Oil your waffle iron and cook the waffles according to your waffle maker's instructions. Serve warm with hazelnut topping, maple syrup, fresh fruit and whipped cream!  

Serving a crowd? TIP - Keep your waffles warm by placing in a 200-degree oven until you are ready to serve. Be sure to keep them in a single layer so they don’t get soggy. If lying on a baking sheet, line with a wire cooling rack as well. This will prevent the bottoms from becoming soggy as well.

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Vanilla Whisky Rice Crispy Squares with Chocolate and Whisky Caramel

 
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Some of the equipment photographed in this post were provided by Paderno. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Your childhood favourite, but fast forward to the 18 year old in you. I’m constantly trying to find ways to add whisky to my cooking. This one was a little too obvious. Sinfully delicious and sinfully easy to make! If you don’t have time to make the whisky caramel from scratch, opt for a high quality store bought caramel instead.

Vanilla Whisky Rice Crispy Squares with Chocolate and Whisky Caramel

  • 12 cups rice crispies

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 3 tbs Canadian whisky

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

  • 500g, plus 1 cup marshmallows (I like to use the large marshmallow for general melting, followed by a cup of the mini marshmallows at the end to make the squares extra gooey)

  • 4 oz melted chocolate

Whisky Caramel - Adapted from https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/dark-rum-caramel

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup cold water

  • 3 tbs unsalted butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tbs Canadian whisky

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter in a large pot. Once the butter has melted, add 500g of marshmallows. Stir constantly until melted. Add the remaining marshmallows, quickly followed by the vanilla and whisky. Stir just until combined (you want some of the last of the marshmallows to still be a little solid). Quickly add your rice crispies. Working fast, pour the mixture into a 13 x 9 parchment lined pan. Let cool.

Drizzle with melted chocolate and whisky caramel sauce.

Whisky Caramel - Mix the sugar and 1/3 cup cold water in a large saucepan. Cook covered until boiling, swirling occasionally until the golden (5-8 minutes). Do not stir. Remove lid and swirl more frequently until the sugar becomes dark amber in colour. Reduce the heat to low and carefully whisk in the butter. Keep whisking until the bubbles settle down, then add the cream, whisking until the caramel is smooth (~2 minutes). Remove from the heat and add in the whisky, salt, and vanilla. Let cool.

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Grandma's Fudge Brownies

 
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For the last couple of years I've been tackling a series of my Grandma's handwritten recipes and photographing the results to include in a family cookbook. It's been both fun and challenging. See my Grandma had a sweet tooth, I do not. So I've been putting off making lots of the desserts. It's also challenging in the sense that I constantly think I'm not making the recipes correct, often wishing she was still here to ask for advice or tips to ensure they'll turn out just right.  

That feeling of uneasiness was here as I made these fudge brownies for the first time (yes first). Something felt incorrect as I was mixing them. The ratio of butter and sugar to flour felt off. But I stuck to the recipe. Trusted it will turn out, if not, telling myself I could always make another batch. To my delight, they turned out on the first go! Super chewy, not too heavy on the chocolate side, and a little crunch from the nuts. 

I think the sweets might even be growing on me now. 

Grandma's Fudge Brownies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 x 1oz unsweeted bakers chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325°. Beat together butter, sugar, melted chocolate and vanilla. Add eggs and beat until mixed. Stir in flour. Fold in walnuts. Bake in a greased 8x8 inch pan for 35 min.

Optional, but likely a must for those who love a bit of chocolate drama, I melted an ounce of dark baking chocolate and drizzled on top before serving.

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