Recipe contribution by Melanie Persson, MasterChef Contestant 2022
This is a super-rich chocolate cake that doesn’t taste like zucchini. Adding grated zucchini allows this cake to retain moisture without being overly dense, so the result is a delicious, fluffy chocolate cake that you’d never guess is gluten free (or part vegetable)!
- 300g caster sugar
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 190g zucchini, grated
- 280g Well and Good Self Raising Flour
- 35g cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 125ml milk
- 250g salted butter, at room temperature
- 250g pure icing sugar, sifted
- 200g milk chocolate, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 180°C and grease and line an 18-20cm cake tin.
- Cream the sugar, oil, and eggs with an electric beater or stand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the grated zucchini, beat lightly to combine.
- Sift together the dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients and the milk in batches, alternating between the two. Try to start and finish with the dry ingredients (dry, milk, dry, milk, dry), whisking to combine after each addition.
- When all the ingredients are fully incorporated, pour the batter into your prepared cake tin.
- Bake in the centre of your oven for 55-65 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow it to cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack. Set aside to cool completely.
- To make the chocolate buttercream, beat the butter with an electric beater or stand mixer until it’s pale in colour and it has nearly doubled in volume.
- Add the icing sugar and incorporate at low speed before beating at high speed for 5-6 minutes.
- Put the chopped chocolate in a separate glass or plastic bowl, and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Add the melted chocolate to the buttercream and beat until fully combined.
- Set the buttercream aside until the cake has cooled completely.
- To assemble, slice the cake horizontally to create 3-4 layers.
- Place a small amount of buttercream onto the centre of a plate, cake board or cake stand to secure the base layer of cake.
- Dollop a generous amount of buttercream onto this cake layer and smooth out into an even layer.
- Repeat with the other cake layers, using as much buttercream between layers and on top of the cake as you’d like.
- For best results, serve the chocolate cake at room temperature.
Melanie was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2016 and has been cooking gluten free since then. She competed in MasterChef 2022, displaying her ability to take regular wheat-based recipes and make them suitable for those on a gluten free diet.