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Black Velvet Cake
3 medium (about 400g / 14 oz) zucchini 1 cup neutral oil 2 cups raw sugar 4 eggs 1¾ cups wholewheat flour ¼ cup good-quality cocoa 2 tbsp mixed spice 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp baking soda 1 tbsp orange juice Cream Cheese Icing 100g / 3½ oz butter, at room temperature 150g / 5 oz cream cheese 4 cups icing / confectioner’s sugar, plus extra to dust a pinch of salt 2 tbsp lemon juice
© Annabel Langbein Media
Cream Cheese Icing
Preheat oven to 160˚C / 325°F fanbake. If making one large cake, grease the sides of a 23cm / 9 in springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper. If making a loaf and 12 cupcakes, grease the sides of a 5-cup-capacity loaf tin and line the base with baking paper, then line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Grate the zucchini onto a clean teatowel (you should have about 3 cups), pull up the sides, twist and squeeze tightly over a sink or bowl to remove liquid.
Beat oil and sugar in a food processor, mixer or large bowl. Beat in eggs, then stir or pulse in flours, cocoa, spices, vanilla and squeezed zucchini.
Dissolve baking soda in orange juice and fold or pulse in very briefly so as not to over-work the gluten (this will make the cake tough). Pour into prepared cake tin or pour half into the prepared loaf tin and divide the rest between the cupcake cases (it will be a very wet batter). Bake until the top springs back when pressed and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (20 minutes for cupcakes, about 45 minutes for the loaf and about 1 hour for the cake). Allow to cool a little before turning out onto a rack. Store in a sealed container in a cool place for up to a week.
To make Cream Cheese Icing, blend butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl or food processor until smooth. Beat in icing / confectioner’s sugar, salt and lemon juice, adding a little more icing / confectioner’s sugar or water if necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency. Spread over cake or loaf and cupcakes.
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