03 August 2008

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake

This is my sister Beah’s zucchini cake recipe, and it’s the best. She gave the recipe to me once, years ago, but of course like the moronic little sister that I am, I lost it. She was nice enough to offer me a new copy, though, so I was able to whip this up just in time for her birthday.

Beah is one year older than me. From the time I could toddle around with her, we played, ate, and schemed together. She talked me into eating green strawberries until I made myself sick. We were partners in crime, and got ourselves in trouble constantly - like the time we were little and stripped down naked, doused ourselves in baby oil, and went outside to “sun bathe”. Yeah, in the front yard. And then our mother came sprinting out to get us and spank us. And we ran around the yard, my mom grabbing at our limbs, and us slipping away like greased pigs.

We also carefully planned and then ran away from home together, to live under the neighbor’s willow tree, because it was always dry under there. Beah was the one who taught me how to write my name, and broke the news that Santa wasn't real, and hid in the bathroom with me when our new little siblings cried too loud and freaked us out.

When I had to stay in the hospital when I was 3 or 4 years old, my parents (one at the hospital with me, one at home with the other kids) put Beah and I on the phone with one another, and all we did was sob and wail out each others’ name every once in awhile. For us, it was no picnic to be away from our sister.

Of course, it wasn’t all blissful sisterly love. We did the other usual sister things: argued, called each other names, pulled each others hair. We always shared a room and found plenty of ways to constantly invade each others personal space. I especially liked to rile her up by borrowing her clothes (without asking, of course). What can I say though? The girl had good taste.

There were a few Big Fights that will go down in family history, including one incident moments before she walked out the door for her high school graduation ceremony. Little did anyone know, she sat through her graduation with head held high and gigantic holes torn in her panty hose, while I sat with my parents with a raging headache from all the hair pulling. But when it was over we sat in the family room and inspected the very sad state of her panty hose, snickering. All hard feelings forgotten. That’s how it usually went.

Once past that painful high school age, we fell right back into being friends again. In college we discussed boyfriends and cleaning techniques, favorite TV shows, complained about roommates, whatever. Got each other through our ex-boyfriends, our wedding days; I stayed with her for awhile when she had her babies. And even though I spend my time sipping cocktails with my husband at swanky restaurants while her life is all sippy cups and potty training, we are closer than ever. We have too much shared life between us to be otherwise.

So for Beah: I baked your own cake for you. Which, you know, you can obviously make yourself and in fact tastes better when you make it. But anyways. Happy Birthday, and see you soon. Love you bunches you butt face.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake
(from Beah)

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs at room temperature
2 c. coarsely grated zucchini (8 oz)
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. walnuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter bundt pan well and dust with some flour, knocking out excess.
Sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down side of bowl occasionally, then beat until very smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes more.

Reduce speed to low and add all but 1/2 cup flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
Toss zucchini, chocolate chips, and walnuts with remaining 1/2 cup flour mixture and add to batter, then mix batter with a rubber spatula (batter will be thick).

Spoon batter into bundt pan, smoothing top. Bake in middle of oven, rotating pan halfway through baking, until side begins to pull away from pan and a tester comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes total.

Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes, then run a thin knife around outer and inner edges. Invert rack over pan, then invert cake onto rack. Cool completely.


Heather said...

what a sweet story. that picture of you two at your wedding (?) is beautiful, and the cake looks scrumptious!

Anonymous said...

This blog made me want to cry and laugh! How sweet.

Peabody said...

The best way to eat your veggies...and a sweet story to boot.

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy. What size bundt pan did you use - a 10 or 12 cup, or diameter if that's easier?

Shelby said...

This was an awesome post - how lucky to have a sister you can share with like you have and obviously still do!