I am not really a new year’s resolution kind of gal, but something I want to work on, new year or otherwise, is altering my expectations.
Expectations color reality so vividly, sometimes in good ways, but more often than not in negative ones. If I expect to go to dinner and have one of the best meals of my life and it falls just short, I’m disappointed. But if I just go to have fun and enjoy myself and not cook, maybe try something new, the result is much more fun and successful.
As a first time author, it was unlikely for my first novel to become a bestseller, even if I hoped, really hoped, it would be one of the rare few to catch a giant audience. I did fall short, and if was disappointing. If I just wrote for me and for even one or two people to read it, maybe I would have been happier. Maybe writing just isn’t for me. Time will tell.
Even blogging. As I approach a full decade on this site, I have found a lot of peace doing it for me, to share the recipe I make and love, as an excuse to spend time in the kitchen. Maybe one day it will become something more, maybe not. Either way, it’s okay.
I had mixed expectations of this cake. I’m a fan of Half Baked Harvest’s recipes, but would banana, zucchini, coffee, and carob blend seamlessly into an addictive dessert (or I’m not gonna lie breakfast)?
Turns out, they most definitely did. Banana goes with everything and zucchini is kind of just along for the ride. The carob and coffee pair perfectly. Perhaps it’s the vanilla that ties everything together in a way that makes sure this cake exceeds expectations.Print
An easy to make snack cake that combines zucchini and banana bread and tops them with a creamy frosting.
3 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 ½ cups mashed ripe banana
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder
3 cups paleo flour blend (2 cups almond flour, 1 ¼ cups tapioca starch, ¾ cup coconut flour)
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups carob or dark chocolate chips
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 teaspoons espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder
Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, 325 degrees F convection. Oil a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, syrup, eggs, and vanilla. stir in the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon until just combined. Stir in the banana and zucchini, followed by the chips. Pour into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.
Once the cake is cool, make the frosting. In a high powered blender, place the strained cashews, syrup, milk, espresso, and vanilla. Blend on high speed, using the tamper if necessary, until silky smooth. Stop to scrape down and make sure no pieces were missed.
Immediately spread the frosting on top of the cake. Garnish with walnuts if desired (banana and zucchini bread inspired things always need walnuts if you ask me), slice, and serve. Cake may be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave about 30 seconds.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest