Chocolate Zuchinni Cake

Z is for Zeb Bakes, answers to the Quiz and an extra Competition

And now the end is here…. Thanks for suggesting this to the wonderful Chiots Run. It’s been great fun!

ZZillions of Zinging Zippy Zappy Zigzagging words later…

Z is for Zeb Bakes and for Zucchini Chocolate Cake, the cake of the season, I am sure everyone who has either grown or been given zucchini  has made a version of this cake this month.

I made the justly famous Chocolate and Zucchini blog version of this cake, recipe here, using less sugar and going for the butter option rather than the oil. My version is here. I have to confess I don’t like the mouthfeel of cakes made with oil one little bit. I’ve tried several different recipes and have yet to find one that I think is as nice as a cake made with butter.

Anyway this cake is delicious and messy while still warm with all the chocolate chunks and it’s still moist and yummy four days later. It keeps really well and I will definitely make it again when I have shed a few pounds.  It amuses me to think that it is somehow ‘healthy’ because it’s got courgette in it. Personally I don’t believe it for a minute!

I also made Zeb’s birthday cake which he shared with his sister and all his doggy friends down at the Woods.  I felt like the Pied Piper after a day of doling out cubes of liver cake. One of Zeb’s mates is Lenny, who thinks he is a whippet and is always charging around.

Like all hounds he has an incredibly sensitive nose. Lenny careened past me on a mission at the top end of the football field and then turned delicately on one of his Charlie Chaplin feet and spun back when he caught a whiff of a molecule of this cake and gave me that special look.

It’s an extraordinarily effective treat for reward based training. Zeb got more and more cross as I gave ‘his’ cake away. He started going up to people and demanding them back. Dogs have no sense of ‘sharing’ when it comes to high value foods. If anyone wants the recipe for this do get in touch.

And finally, and these may be the last cakes I bake for a good long while, as I am going to cut back on all sorts of things for the next few months and try to be healthier, chiefly by eating less overall and cupcakes are definitely not going to be on the menu, but just for fun and to say thanks to you all for encouraging me, here is a batch of the Hummingbird Cook Book Vanilla Cupcakes.

Thank you all – it’s been great fun!

The Quiz

To all of you who took part in the Q and A photo quiz up to 29th August (the end of my alphabet) – I’d like to send you a box of these easy-to-use chocolate letters and numbers to make your own words and  have your own alphabet fun. I still have three boxes left to give away so if you would like to have a go at winning one of those, all you have to do is rearrange the letters in ‘Zeb Bakes Alphabet in August‘ by the 31st August.  I’ve had a couple of goes but maybe you can do better? I will send them anywhere.

I also have four packets of cannoli (four in a pack)i molds to G1ve away, if you would like to try your hand at making those, don’t hang about, get anagramming! There aren’t any particular rules, but you can’t use letters that aren’t there. If you can’t use them all, don’t worry! I’m going to give the job of judging to Brian.

or maybe…

Answers to the Q and A Quiz:

The first one was an attempt at making Swedish rye crisp bread, aka knackebrød, using this fantastic rolling-pin that Barbara brought me when she visited earlier this year. No one guessed that, but I enjoyed your suggestions very much!

The second one was marshmallows, made with sugar and gelatine. I think most of you guessed that one.

The third object was (several of you figured this out) an Edwardian public toilet near Golden Hill, North Bristol. Miskmask not only figured this out but sent me this wonderful link to the CIBSE Heritage Group  which not only had pictures of this one before and after restoration but loads of great info and pics of all the other ones that have been photographed. So a big thanks to you Miskmask for that superb piece of research!

A final Z is for our Zoo with their real gorillas on their island.  And the Wow! Gorillas who have definitely helped me burn a few calories this weekend again as we tore around the city on foot visiting a dozen or more that we hadn’t got round to.

The Leaning Tower of Temple Church hidden away in the heart of the City

 One of the things about cities with ever more complicated road systems is that it really is often so much quicker to walk, or cycle or drag your poodle than it is to get in your car. And on foot you see so much more, you can admire the lovely flowers the council have put out on the road crossings and see views of buildings and the river cutting through the city that you simply never see when you are driving. It’s been illuminating discovering corners of the city that I didn’t know at all.

Zeb Bakes is having a little break now!  See you soon and a Zillion Thanks for your Company this summer.

Thursday 1st September!

Brian says all your anagrams are great and he can’t choose so for everyone who played and who indicated they would like a set I will send them out.
EmilyDev, Brydie, EmilySincerely and Heidi
If you wouldn’t mind sending me your address then I will pop them in the post. I think you all have my email address as I have commented on your blogs.
On chocolate letters, from the Q post
My list of winners are
Celia, Misk, Suelle, C, Heidi, Brydie, EmilySincerely, Spiceandmore
If I have missed you out, I’ve tried to be organized but it’s not my strong point… do please let me know!
Thanks again for reading!

39 thoughts on “Z is for Zeb Bakes, answers to the Quiz and an extra Competition

  1. emilydev9

    Good morning Joanna and Brian,

    OK, here goes:

    Push a tile, gaze at kebab buns.

    Grammatical, even if it doesn’t make complete sense, and I think it uses all the letters :) If Brian likes my entry, I’d love a pack of cannoli molds!

    Emily x

  2. ceciliag

    I have never eaten a remarkably healthy chocolate zuchinni cake.. lucky for me that you posted it just before you quit the fattening stuff and I whole heartedly agree about the butter/oil discussion. Butter for me .. all the way! c

    1. Joanna Post author

      I have no benchmarks to compare it against. It was my first one, but it tasted too good to be altogether healthy ;)

  3. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Yay!! You did it!
    Now I have to say, too funny about those cannoli molds. My next quest in sight is …..Cannoli! I was thinking of trying to make them with canneloni pasta shells though. That made me smile :-)
    …Now have just worn my poor brain out and the best I can come up with is…
    “Zeb Bakes alpine bug hats” (??)
    “Zeb Bakes us a Tuna Pith Bagel” (??)

    …Oh my aching brain! Have a good break :-)

  4. sallybr

    COngrats on finishing this alphabet marathon, you showed incredible endurance!

    I am sad that you are taking a break, but will be waiting for your return – good luck on all the goals you are setting for yourself, times of change can be tricky, but they always carry a ton of positive things with them

  5. heidi

    I have one of those rollers- I used it to make a gingerbread roof for a cottage!
    I will have to make the crisp rye bread now.
    ” Alias Thugs put ban Zeb Bakes.”
    or
    “Aunt Zeb Bakes Last Huge Bap.”

    1. Joanna Post author

      Of course, it’s a gingerbread roof roller… now there’s a tongue twister Heidi !

      Splendid anagrams !

  6. Jeannette

    Congratulations on finishing the alphabet in such a fine way! Have a nice break, hope to see you back soon.

  7. Choclette

    Ha ha, what fun. No wonder you need a break though, you’ve put a lot of work into your alphabet. So pleased there is a chocolate cake to accompany Zeb’s doggie cake, I might have been a tad disappointed otherwise. Playing around with word’s is not my thing, but the chocolate alphabet looks great, especially on those cupcakes. Hope you have a good and healthy break.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Choclette – now I’ve discovered how easy it is to make cupcakes I might weaken. No, no. I won’t….. :D

  8. Jan

    Love Lenny! And the liver cake. As for ‘doing’ healthy – I don’t believe anything that is covered in chocolate could possibly be unhealthy – could it? I loved your yellow slide show in the previous post – yellow is my happy colour. I like to have bits of it around. I shall miss you very much while you’re away but wish you a very happy break; we’ll all be wagging our tails when you come home.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Jan! You had disappeared into the spam folder (Aksimet! How dare you put Jan in the spam, naughty, no liver cake for you!).

      That cake isn’t actually covered in anything, it just has a very shiny top. It is unvarnished chocolate zuchinni cake, so that makes it healthier instantly of course :)

      We have such fun with our doggy friends, some of whom are wildly entertaining like the lurching Len, the bouncy Bonnie, the very small and the very tall. Dog walking is one of the most social activities I take part in, a moveable wagging extravagansa. There is an old New Yorker cartoon which my Dad sent me when he thought I was getting too ‘doggy’. In it a woman stands next to a man in a park, both have dogs, her t’shirt reads “Go on, Ask me about my Dog!”. It is one of those paradoxes of modern life. The one where we ignore people on the street, but put the same people on a path through a bit of urban woodland and they will say ‘Good Morning’. People talk to you if you have a dog, it’s all good.

      1. jan trounce

        That effect that dogs have of encouraging people to talk must be because people who have dogs as companions simply must be decent people, don’t you think. Also we do regard our pets as ittle people and little people always encourage smiles and comments. It is indeed all good, but I like your Dad’s sense of humour:)

  9. Ann Hall

    I’ve really enjoyed your alphabet series – especially the lovely pictures of Zeb in this post. Please, I think Spot would like the recipe for his cake!
    I’ll miss you – have a good break but come back soon!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I was hoping someone would ask….brace yourself for the gentle perfume of liver baking in the oven….

      Take 500 grams of liver (I use lamb liver) , puree in blender. mix with about 300 g of flour, or more if you want it to go further, (you get different results depending on whether you use self raising or plain, I did selfraising one time and it really did rise and look like cake!) add an egg and about half a pint of milk or milk and water. You may need more liquid, until you get a medium thick batter, thicker than pancake batter, more like sponge cake mix. If you think Spot will appreciate it add some dried mixed herbs. Then line a baking tray with silpat or baking paper and pour the batter on to it. Bake in a medium oven, say 140 C, for about 40 minutes. Leave to cool and deflate, peel off paper, cut up and freeze in chunks. Don’t let him have too much at one time as it is quite rich but highly motivating!

      You know that is not Zeb with the chocolate cake don’t you? It’s a little teeny toy poodle someone gave me!

  10. Ann Hall

    Thanks Joanna, that sounds like perfect Spot reward material! I’m just about to go shopping so will add liver to my list. Actually I quite like liver myself though my husband hated it – he couldn’t get past memories of the boarding school version which had the texture of an old tennis ball.
    Yes, I thought that didn’t look like Zeb with the cake. I love the “beginning and end” pics – clever of you to get just the right ones!

    1. Joanna Post author

      We have liver from time to time, depends on where you can source it from. I rarely buy it in the shops. I get half a salt marsh lamb about once a year from someone who raises sheep in Wales, we are eating less and less meat these days, and this year I had the liver too.

      The photos? I fit the posts to the photos usually, when I try to take photos for a post it often doesn’t quite work, especially doggy ones ;) I got lucky with these ones the other day, Zeb loves climbing on structures.

  11. emilysincerely

    Zeb reminds me of a black standard that I used to dog sit for weeks on end. Her name was Fay and she was a princess. Good memories.

    My anagrams aren’t in sentence form, but they sure where fun to play with. I got out my bananagrams game tiles and played and played. I took some photos to send you went I get home Wed or thursday, I will have to check on the side to see if your email is listed. One lay out I did in bananagram style (like a scarbble game).

    “page hits bask bane zulu bet”
    “halt sue baste pub zing bake”
    “hub salt gap bet zein kab use” (kab is Keep America Beautiful)
    “let best bake zip bum u gas ha”
    “get best bake zip buns aluha”

    My bananagame layout had
    zebu
    pebbles
    late
    tens
    sign
    didn’t use u a k a
    but it uses a few letters more than once to play off each word and build

    Thanks for the fun
    have a geat break
    Emily

    1. Joanna Post author

      Wow these are great Emily! I will add your photo when you send it to me. I have emailed you back. Anyone else who wants to get in touch, the contact form is in the About section in the menu bar. Zeb is a miniature rather than a standard, but he’s a big miniature if that makes any sense. The standards are wonderful, but seriously big dogs, I have several friends with them :D

  12. teawithhazel

    ‘congratulations on making it to zed
    and happy birthday to zeb’

    my anagram solution uses all the letters and is: ‘plants bush bike beaut agaze’

    i really enjoyed your postings and the anagram challenge but i did the anagram for fun and to give my neurones a work out so please don’t consider me for a prize..have a wonderful and well deserved rest..jane

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Jane, I really appreciate all the lovely comments you leave and the anagram is a ‘beaut’ :)

  13. Joanna Post author

    Brian says all your anagrams are great and he can’t choose so for everyone who played and who indicated they would like a set I will send them out.

    EmilyDev, Brydie, EmilySincerely and Heidi

    If you wouldn’t mind sending me your address then I will pop them in the post. I think you all have my email address as I have commented on your blogs.

    On chocolate letters, from the Q post

    My list of winners are

    Celia, Misk, Suelle, C, Heidi, Brydie, EmilySincerely, Spiceandmore

    If I have missed you out, I’ve tried to be organized but it’s not my strong point… do please let me know!

    Thanks again for reading!

  14. emilydev9

    Thank you, Joanna, ’twas such a lovely ride following your blog in August. Great work and enjoy your break! Emily x

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Tony, it was the doggies birthdays, not mine and their cake with the candles on it to make it look pretty for the blog ;)

  15. chocveg

    I think I am tooo late to be a winner, but my anagram from my little mind is:
    Be a subtle gust in a bake phaz!
    Enjoy a break, I’m needing to catch up with MB! summer is fun and routine is out!
    Allison x
    I’ll pick up a canolli sometime!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Just a day late. Sorry!

      I’m just catching up with my gorillas and some other stuff. Will be back with some nice bread soon enough :)

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