This ones an oldie, been around forever this combination, yet never fails to get me all excited when I’m making it. Who wouldn’t love to substitute unhealthy white bleached flour ( well at least half the amount ) with extremely healthy and good for you zucchinis. Most people can’t even tell there’s zucchini in there until you mention it. The zucchini makes the cake moist, gives it great texture and body, and the cashew nut praline just makes it that extra bit posh and fancy, giving it that crunch and extra sweetness. My cakes are usually less sweet, so I like to add that sweetness on top. The chocolate glaze is just perfect, it completes every bite with the perfect balance. I made 4 loaves with this recipe.
Ingredients for the Loaf
- ½ cup chopped cashews
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Orange Juice
- 2 tablespoons whiskey
- 2 ¾ cups cake flour, sifted
- ½ cup cocoa plus 3 Tablespoons for dusting
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¾ cup softened unsalted butter
- 1½ cups caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 3 cups coarsely grated zucchini
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup cream
In a small bowl, combine nuts and freshly squeezed orange juice & whisky. Microwave 30 seconds and set aside. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line your tin, or use disposable loaf cases. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, ½ cup cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one by one.With a wooden spoon, mix in vanilla, orange zest, and zucchini. Add the milk & cream. Add flour mixture. Stir in just enough to moisten. Let the batter set about 3 minutes, this will allow the leavening time to lighten the batter.Gently fold in the nuts then spoon batter into greased pan. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, rotating pan once during. Cake is done when a toothpick is inserted, and comes out clean.
To make Chocolate Glaze
- 250 gms bittersweet chocolate
- 155 ml heavy cream
Place chocolate and cream in a pan over low heat and stir until chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes before using.
To make Cashewnut Praline
- 1 cup whole Cashew Nuts
- 1 cup granulated sugar
In a small frying pan, heat the sugar on medium heat till it begins to caramelize, gently give it a stir to make sure its evenly melting. When it turns a golden color, add the cashews, stirring quickly and getting an even coat of the caramel all over the nuts. Quickly pour it out on a wooden board and spread it out in an even layer. let it cool completely and then cut up in pieces.
To assemble the loaf : just smother the glaze all over the cake and top with the Cashew Nut Praline. Tastes best at room temperature.