Sunday, May 3, 2009

Good company.

About two weeks ago I hosted my first dinner at my not-so-new apartment for a group of friends. It was the first time I formally had people over, so this was pretty exciting! I saw something in the New York Times about making your own pizza dough from scratch, which inspired me to make this dinner get-together more interactive than just sitting around a table. It was a pizza-making party--I would prepare the dough ahead of time, provide basic toppings, and everyone else would bring their favorite toppings to create their own pizzas.

I don't know why I do this, but I tend to get inspired to make something I've never done before and invite people over to eat an untested recipe because I always think it'll turn out the way it's supposed to. This time, using a recipe from The New Best Recipe and never having made pizza dough ever before, I prepared the pizza dough, and I must have messed up something along the way because the dough did not rise the way it was supposed to. Actually, I don't think it rose at all. The recipe requires mixing the yeast with water of a certain temperature, and since I couldn't tell what temperature the water was, there was probably a good chance I killed the yeast altogether (can you kill yeast?). Regardless, even though the crust baked up flat, and it was certainly no New York-style pizza crust, the taste was good, and all our creations with the different toppings my friends brought were delicious.

Perhaps a take-away from that meal was that sometimes, regardless of how the food turns out, with good company, any meal can be memorable. In all the activity of making the pizzas with my friends, I forgot to take pictures so I could show you! But I did manage to remember to take pictures before dinner of the chocolate zucchini bundt cake I served for dessert, so I'll share that recipe today instead. Maybe when I perfect my pizza dough and get it to rise another time, I'll post that recipe.

(I did want to mention that I know I've been slow in posting and visiting some of your sites lately. My internet has been spotty for most of last week (again!) and has not been working continuously long enough for me to finish a post until tonight--very frustrating. Thank you for still following along!)

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Adapted from Marcy Goldman's A Passion for Baking
Serves about 12

This is a lower guilt (but not guilt-free) recipe because it has zucchini! Marcy's original recipe includes orange zest, which I omitted only because I didn't have any oranges, but if you have some, adding it would make for a nice touch, I think.

Preheat the oven to 350F, and grease a 12 cup bundt pan.

1. Cream together the following in a bowl using a mixer:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups of sugar

2. Add each of the following ingredients, mixing on low to medium:
- 4 large eggs, one at a time
- 3 ounces of semisweet chocolate, melted
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk

3. Stir in:
- 2 cups shredded zucchini

4. Mix on low (or fold in) the following, until completely combined (but don't over mix):
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 t. baking powder
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1 t. cinnamon

5. Pour into the bundt pan and bake for about an hour or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert it onto a serving platter or dish.

6. For the glaze, heat over low heat:
- 3 oz. semisweet chocolate
- 1 T. unsalted butter
Once combined and smooth, spoon glaze over the cooled cake.


  1. Tiffany--thislooks unbelievably delicious and I bet the zucchini adds such moistness.. I am bookmarking this for my garden zucchini..

  2. You have a nice blog and this looks so yummy.

  3. tiffany, i totally know what you mean about getting inspired when you have company coming over. i often blow it and am quite embarrassed! i don't know why i keep doing it! when we lived in quebec, i learned how to make a killer pizza dough (and all kinds of yummy variations, like thai chicken pizza, mexican pizza, and original pepperoni). i had it down pat. but ever since we moved to senegal, my pizza dough has been hit or miss. sometimes it's too doughy, sometimes it doesn't rise. so frustrating! grrr. but it's so worth it when you get it right. keep trying! it'll be so satisfying, especially when you make it healthy w/whole wheat and other whole grains (i never made plain white) and healthy toppings. happy baking!

  4. Yum! Cinnamon and chocolate! And with the zucchini, we can pretend it's healthy. :)

    The glaze looks amazing.

  5. Donna: I hope you get to try it w/ your fresh zucchini soon!

    Helene: thank you for visiting!

    Angiesrecipes: thanks for encouraging me--I will definitely try the pizza dough again.

    Linda: as always, thank you for stopping by!


Thank you for stopping by! I may not always be able to respond right away, but I appreciate your comments!