Thursday, September 16, 2010

Summer Squash Cake

I know, I know. You're probably thinking, "Enough of your veggie-filled sweet treats!"

But I need you to trust me that this "loaf cake" (as Martha calls it) is freakin amazing delicious. It has a very unique flavor, as most of the breads/cakes that I've made with veg tend to have a spicy flavor (i.e. cinnamon, nutmeg). However this cake's flavor is sweet and moist and has a hint of pistachio and fennel seed.

And can I just put it out there that I yellow squash. Can't eat the stuff. Don't like the taste; can't stand the smell.

The recipe comes from Martha, one of my favs, and is called Two-Colored Squash Loaf Cake. Martha, darling, please don't be offended, but the name of your recipe leaves something to be desired. You're already messing with people by throwing a whole lot of squash into a cake. Perhaps a friendlier name (i.e., one that doesn't have the word "loaf" in it) is more suitable? That's my only complaint — and I've taken it upon myself to rename the recipe.

Summer Squash Cake (makes one 9x5 loaf)

10 tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 medium yellow squash (about 2 cups)
2 medium zucchini (about 2 cups)
1 cup shelled pistachios, unsalted, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. fennel seeds

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the shelled, chopped pistachios in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast until fragrant and lightly browned (barely) — about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • Generously butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan (if your loaf pan is 8x4 like mine is, use a mini loaf pan or make muffins with the extra batter). Sprinkle with flour to lightly coat the pan, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl.
  • Coarsely grate squash and zucchini on the large holes of a box grate (or use your food processor grating blade to get it done ASAP). Use Martha's method to squeeze the liquid out of the squash or just spread it out on a plate/baking sheet and use a clean towel or paper towels to absorb liquid from the squash. You want to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  • Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat softened butter and sugar on medium high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined after each egg. Beat in the vanilla. Then add flour mixture slowly and beat until just combined. Use a flexible spatula to fold in the squash, pistachios, and fennel seeds. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). 

  • Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees, and then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking until loaf is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before unmolding onto rack to cool completely. 

Be brave. Try it!

    1 comment:

    1. Really good. The pistachios provided good texture, to a tasty loaf.


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