I've got a (sheet) slice of realness for you today. Despite all my googling, I am still unsure if this is what you can definitively call a sheet cake. Is it an American thing? Am I making it up? Is this a sheet cake? Either way, it's a succinct enough title that I plan to keep it, irrespective of the reality. Cheers for your support.
Zucchinis have been my lord and saviour with all the digestive issues I've been having - they're filling, mostly bland, and very much FODMAP approved. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said that I eat three or more zucchinis in a day. Because I really, genuinely do. Given my hero worship of this humbly excellent veg, it seemed only fitting to try and incorporate it into every aspect of my diet, cake included.
It wasn't that long ago that I used to make Nigella's 'courgette' cake for my Mum's birthday, weirding myself out, year after year, by the fact that I was putting ZUCCHINi in CAKE. It's times like these that I truly believe in the human capacity to evolve and grow.
This cake is gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free and FODMAP friendly. It's also dead easy to make, which is arguably a bigger bonus than all the above combined.
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup tapioca flour
200g grated zucchini (skin on, about one medium-large zucchini)
3/4 cup cacao or cocoa
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Generous pinch of sea salt flakes
FOR THE ICING:
1 large avocado
1 tablespoon maple syrup (2 if you have a particularly sweet tooth)
1/4 cup cacao or cocoa
Pinch of sea salt flakes
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Combine the almond meal, eggs, cacao and zucchini in your food processor, scraping down the edges intermittently, until you have a nice smooth batter. Add the coconut sugar, maple syrup, almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla bean paste and sea salt, and continue to process until combined. Add the baking powder and apple cider vinegar, and stir by hand to combine.
3. Pour the mixture into a small greased baking pan. I used both a small rectangular 27cm x17 cm and square 20cm x 20cm pan, both to success.
4. Place into the oven for 15-20 minutes. You may need to adjust the timings, depending on how thinly your cake batter is spread.
5. While the cake is cooking, process your avocado, cacao, maple syrup and sea salt together until a smooth icing forms. You might have to scrape down the blender a few times, depending on the size of your avo.
6. Once the cake has cooked and cooled, pile it up with the avo icing, and top with aesthetically pleasing bits and pieces as you see fit. The cake keeps well (icing and all) in the fridge for a number of days.