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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks, or 3/4 cup) butter
2 cups sugar [note: I usually reduce this to about 1 1/2 cups]
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 cups grated raw zucchini
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans or
a 10 inch tube (or bundt) pan.

Cream the butter and slowly add the sugar, beating until smooth.
Beat in the eggs and mix thoroughly. Add vanilla, orange zest and
zucchini and blend well. The batter make look curdled at this
point, but it will become smooth later.

Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and add to the zucchini
mixture along with the milk. Beat thoroughly, then stir in the
walnuts.

Pour into pan(s) and bake layer cakes for 35-40 minutes, the tube
cake for an hour, or until a knife inserted into the centre comes
out clean. Remove from oven, let cool, and either sprinkle with
confectioners sugar or frost with Coffee Frosting.


Coffee Frosting

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt
2 egg whites
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon powdered instant coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine the first five ingredients in the top of a double boiler.
Set over simmering water on low heat. Beat for 5-7 minutes, or til
frosting stands in peaks. Remove from hot water, add the instant
coffee, and continue beating until it forms soft, billowy peaks.
Beat in the vanilla. There will be enough to frost an 8 or 9 inch
two layer cake or a 9-10 inch tube cake.

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