This Community Recipe is Samantha’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Using zucchini as a crafty alternative to butter (try it and you will see!), this cake has a beautiful texture and deep chocolate flavor complimented by brown sugar and just the right amount of salt.
Community Recipes is a recurring feature where we share your vegan recipes on the Jewish Food Hero blog. If you want to share a recipe in this series, pitch us your idea here. This series is all about sharing healthy plant-based and vegan recipes. We are creating a positive community around food and sharing.
Samantha is a born and raised French woman who has always been curious about culture, heritage, art and history. She loves cooking and baking, especially recipes that take less than 30 minutes. Her father has a sweet tooth and her mother is a French woman fond of wine and cheese. Having grown up with these two cultures, Samantha is the result of this mix.
For cooking inspiration, Samantha turns to:
Leah Koenig’s The Jewish Cookbook
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi cookbook: Jerusalem
Reconnecting with family roots
In her late 20’s, Samantha decided to reconnect with her family heritage and convert to Judaism. Samantha’s grandparents on her father’s side were born in Poland and Ukraine, and Ashkenazi cooking has been a way for her to feel closer to them. She has fond memories of baking Sufganiyot, borscht and keiss kuchen.
Flexible eating and cooking for refuge
Even though she does not consider herself a vegan, Samantha is very concerned about the impact of an animal-based diet on our environment. As much as possible, she tries to adapt classical recipes to a vegetarian or vegan diet. This is actually one of the most accessible and straightforward ways of reducing environmental impact of our food choices, so well done Samantha!
With distance working during the pandemic, it is not always easy to find a way to separate professional and personal life. This is true for Samantha as she lives in a cosy (but small) Parisian flat! Cooking has been a refuge, and allowed her to take a break from work. During lockdown, she spent more time in the kitchen exploring new recipes and cultures.
How was Samantha’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe created?
Chocolate cake can be heavy and rich due to the amount of butter in it. While exploring alternative plant-based recipes, Samantha found that zucchini can actually replace butter without giving the cake a vegetable taste. The first time she tried it, Samantha’s friends were very puzzled, and now it has become one of her classics! Kids love it, because they can justify eating more of it to their parents because it’s made with vegetables!
If you eat eggs, you can use them in Samantha’s Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe – simply add the yolks along with the sugar, then whip the whites and fold them through the mixture before baking. Otherwise, use your preferred vegan egg replacer.
Vegan egg replacers to Make this Recipe Vegan
Samantha’s made the recipe with eggs but if you are vegan you can use egg replacer. When it comes to baking, vegan-izing recipes is easier than you might think. Experiment with a variety of egg alternatives and you will be amazed at the results. Use two of the following to get “4 eggs” in Samantha’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe
Flax-egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water and left to become jelly-like for 5 minutes). This works best when replacing one or two eggs.
Aquafaba – a fancy name for chickpea water. Use the drained juice from a can of chickpeas or reserve some chickpea cooking water. You can whip this with a little cream of tartar to make vegan whipped egg whites!
Applesauce – this plant-based option adds sweetness and helps baked goods set. Expect a denser texture but a still delicious taste.
Peel and puree the zucchini, then add it to the chocolate and stir to combine.
IF USING EGGS: In two different bowls, break the eggs separating the yolks from the whites, then mount the eggs whites in snow with a mixer. Whip the sugar with the yolks until the mixture whitens, then stir in the melted chocolate and the mixed zucchini.
IF MAKING VEGAN: prepare the egg replacer(s) according to the directions and then and add it to the zucchini chocolate mix along with the sugar.
Add the flour, baking powder and a pinch of kosher salt to the chocolate mixture.
Pour the mixture into a quarter-quart cake pan.
Bake at 180°C (356°F) for 35 to 40 minutes. To make sure that the cake is cooked, insert a knife if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
Keywords: vegan, cake, zucchini, vegetable cake
More Community Recipes
Sometimes we all need a little inspiration to mix up our regular recipe rotation. Our Community Recipes feature is for just that – to share our favorites and hear from a variety of people in our community. Since you’ve read Samantha’s, do you feel inspired to share your own recipe? Don’t forget to get in touch to share your vegan recipe too!