What to do with bountiful zucchini? Fritters, breads, muffins, roasted, pickled... the choices are endless. And most can be frozen and saved for a quick reheated treat later in the cold, cold winter. This Two-Colored Squash Loaf Cake recipe from Martha Stewart caught my eye because it didn't skimp on the amount of zucchini and it because included pistachios and fennels seeds among its ingredients. I also liked that it used both colours of this summer squash which really did give it a distinctive flavour.
Okay, so this loaf cake was so moist and delicious that it didn't really need those pats of butter... but it tasted ever so good with them :)
The showstopper was definitely the interesting addition of fennel and pistachio. It gave the cake an almost pistachio kulfi-like taste, which was slightly exotic and not at all overpowering (like I thought two teaspoons of fennel seeds would be). The kids were only mildy interested in this cake, even though it was quite sweet and moist. They don't seem to like when I put large chunks of nuts or the like into their baked goods though... so slightly too large pistachio bits may have been the culprit.
The only caveat I would have for this recipe is that you really need to get the extra water squeezed out of the squash. I don't think tried nearly hard enough (especially since I used some fairly large zucchinis) and I could tell even before baking that my batter seemed very wet and heavy. My cake turned out a little dense in the middle as the extra moisture caused it to fall a bit during the last half of baking. It may have also helped to bake it at a slightly higher temperature than 350F. Ah well, next time...
Nonetheless the cake was yummy and there was none left to freeze (as I had hoped). It was great sliced and toasted the next day as well, since this toasted the pistachios and caramelized any zucchini bits that were poking out. This recipe definitely goes into the bank.