This year my fortieth birthday came with a new challenge: how to take milk out of my diet. After weeks of feeling uncomfortable, I finally did a little test to see if I was lactose intolerant. In the realm of health issues, it's a rather minor inconvenience, especially since the invention of Lactose free milk, cottage cheese and sliced cheese. However, I'm still waiting for new lactose free items to appear on shelves. Until that time, I have to reinvent recipes along the way. Nearly everything that is processed has milk in the ingredients. So, baking from scratch is my new hobby. This week I discovered a delicious recipe that can be amended for those with Lactose problems. It's taken from the Pure Dark brand of chocolate bars.
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake:
1/2 c butter flavored Crisco
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c lactose free milk + 2 tsp white vinegar (add vinegar to milk as a substitute for buttermilk)
2 1/2 c flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 c grated zucchini
4-6 oz dark chocolate baking squares, cut into small pieces
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heavily grease and flour a 9x13 or large Bundt pan.
In a mixer, cream the butter, oil and sugar (about 2-3 minutes). Once creamed add the eggs, vanilla and milk and mix until fully incorporated.
In a separate mixing bowl sift all dry ingredients together. On a low speed, mix the dry ingredients slowly into the wet until completely combined.
Fold in grated zucchini into the cake batter and spoon into baking pan.
Sprinkle the chocolate baking bar pieces onto the top of the batter.
Bake fro 45-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool for at least ten minutes before serving.
Sprinkle walnuts over top.
Top with warm glossy chocolate sauce for an added chocolate kick:
In a small saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup with three ounces unsweetened baking chocolate.
Heat on low until chocolate is melted. stir in 3/4 teaspoon vanilla.
Fresh red raspberries make a wonderful garnish for this fantastic cake!