Chocolate Zucchini Cake.

Ok so even if you are not the biggest Zucchini/courgette fan trust me when I say you will enjoy this cake, it is seriously that good.

As a yacht chef always trying to find ways to get the people to eat vegetables in some form this was my trick for using up the zucchini.

I always ask the Crew what kind of cake they would like me to make as the Chef I feel its the least I can do when people are far away from friends and family for their birthday. I will never forget the first time got asked to make a Zucchini cake in the shape of cat while crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Never a dull moment while working on yachts thats for sure!

What your going to need here to make this delicious cake is:

2 cups castor sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened

1/2 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 large eggs at room temp

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup sour cream

2 1/2 cup grated zucchini

1 cup chocolate chips

Start by pre heating the oven to 325’F / 150’C

So what your going to do is beat the butter, sugar, oil, and vanilla with an electric mixer on high until fluffy – this should take about 2 mins

add the eggs and beat until incorporated – 15 secs

For step 2 what your going to do is

Sift together the flour and cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream, start and finish with the flour, beating well on low after each addition. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips pour into your greased cake pan and smooth out the top.

Bake in pre heated oven until cooked about 45-50 mins

cool completely in the pan.

While the cake is cooling prepare the frosting.

you can make a brown butter frosting is that is your think, or you can try this one…

1 packet of cream cheese at room temp

1/4 cup butter softened to room temp

icing sugar to taste ( I often leave out as the cake is sweet enough)

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

8 TBSP chopped pistachio your going to mix some into the frosting an use the rest as garnish on top.

Take the cream cheese and add to your mixing bowl using a paddle attachment mix for 15 sec, then add in your room temp butter and icing sugar if you are using it mix for 1 min until all well combined add in the vanilla, salt and pistachio whip up a little longer then cover the cold cake with frosting and sprinkle with the left over pistachio.

Enjoy!

Any questions please get in touch

as always happy baking

love cupcake. xxx

Halfway party!

Its official, today is day 7. That means I’m halfway through this isolation journey and this time next week I’ll be allowed out and about in beautiful NZ.

My countdown order of all the kiwi snacks!

Some hot tips for those of you that might be doing this journey….

I flew from Miami Via LAX down to Auckland. Leaving Miami it was very quiet but just an internal flight as normal, you don’t get snack though and there is not much open in the airport, so if you get hangry I’d suggest brining some snacks! Once out in LAX I changed terminals and re checked in with Airnz for my boarding pass etc, this is the first time the voucher was really understood and looked at.

  • Bring your own Cutlery. I have my Chef knife roll with me, ok maybe a bit excessive but I always travel with them! I also ordered some plates online once I got here as I wanted to play with my food. It does get a bit tiring eating out of the takeaway box all the time. You can order from Countdown or the local supermarket depending on your location. I got some coffee/ yogurt/ biscuits/ NZ chocolate etc. Treat yourself!
fried chicken with mash potato, garden salad with crispy broad beans.

  • Bring more plugs or a power board… or adapters. I’ve been in the USA for a while (which is 110v) and only have 1 NZ plug these days, a lot of my devices etc work via USB plug so thats been a lifesaver! Something to think about if you use lots of plugged in things!

  • Download Netflix or books etc before you get here. The wifi is amazing but once everyone is trying to do that same thing you’ll find the wifi will drop out a bit, the Hotel does give you a SIM card so that helps.

  • Get a routine, this has helped me so much in the transition, I’ve been up early around 530am then by 730 dressed and ready for the day, well breakfast arrival!
sunrise out my window.

  • Get outside if you can…the first 3 days you can’t do much, until that first test you kinda stay in your room, we did have access to the play pen out the front of the hotel, and a service ramp which we could book for 30min slots. After that first negative test we could go to the rooftop area for 40 mins and take a bus to walk in a field for 45mins every 2nd day.
Outside Field walking area.

  • Bring a speaker, if your into music its nice to listen via a speaker rather than your device. If you’re into watching Netflix on the TV bring a HDMI cable, I’ve not tried this, don’t know what this is, so can’t offer any more info on this.

  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself….I honestly am not sure how the last 7 days have gone by, I’ve finished one book, watched a lot of Christmas movies on Netflix, had a lot of video calls , chats with friends and family. I had a list of things to do when I was in here, I’m not going to finish that and I’m ok with it as this experience is difficult enough without feeling bad for not learning a new language or writing a book etc!

Any questions please give me a shout. I’m here and have the time to reply.

Follow my instagram for how I’ve been replaying my meals!!

Have a lovely day

with love always

Cupcake xxx

Sour dough Discard Pizza.

Since I’ve started on this journey with my Betty I’ve collected the discard from each feeding to create something else with along the line.

Sometimes Yacht Chef life is busy and trying new things takes more time..so I’ve not been all that inventive with my options, so far sourdough discard pancakes and sourdough discard pizza are my winners.

This pizza dough takes some time so its great to get it started early In the day before things get too crazy and use it for crew dinner or a side with dinner in the evening, I know as a Sole Chef having little tips and tricks like this in your kit are so useful.

Ok you are going to want to start this 5/6 hrs earlier than you want to use it…it takes some time to rise.

What your going to need here is

1/2 tsp instant – dry yeast

2 1/2 cups plain all purpose unbleached flour

1/2 cup Luke warm water

1 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of Sourdough discard

First of all lets mix up the sourdough discard and mix all the liquid in so that its all looking combined again.

Add the water flour and salt yeast in to a bowl of your stand mixer, add in the sourdough discard, mix to combine then knead with your hook until the dough wraps itself around the hook and cleans the side of the bowl, this will take 6-8 mins I’d say.

Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover and leave to rise until almost doubled in size. Depending on your starter this could be quick or take a little longer, you can also use double the active yeast if you wish to speed up the process. It should be ready in 3-4 hrs.

Once the dough has risen then you can shape your pizza and let the dough rest for 15 min before topping with your favorites.

This recipe should make 2 thin crust pizza, about 12″.

Enjoy and Happy Pizza baking.

With love always, Cupcake xx