A few years ago, I was exceedingly fortunate to meet Gina DePalma, who was( at the time) the pastry chef at Babbo in New York City. Being bakers, we struck up a friendship and she gave me a imitate of her gorgeous volume, Dolce Italiano. After we had dessert and coffee together, we ambled the street of New York City for a bit, and built plans to meet in Rome, where she was moving to work on her second book.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to have our Roman holiday, but I often thumb through her journal and dream about how much fun we would have had lapping our route through the gelaterias of Rome and eating all those tarts with little sips of Italian espresso in between bites. Before she could plant her roots too firmly in Rome, Gina was diagnosed with cancer and returned to the States.
It’s been noted that her accomplishments was usually overshadowed by the owner of Babbo, whose empire eventually fell. Gina was tough and although I never ran alongside her, co-workers noted that she didn’t suffer clowns gladly, but she made such masterful desserts, and was such a flair, that you couldn’t help but have the utmost respect for Gina.
Her book, Dolci Italiano, has become a baking classic and is one of those exceptional cookbooks that stirs excellent learning( as well as being an entirely enticing collect of recipes ), especially the section on Italian ingredients, which isn’t just a rote list of what to buy. She discusses the importance of baking ingredients and what they mean to Italians: Olive oil isn’t just to dampen, it’s a flavor. And why citrus figures into Italian desserts most frequently than vanilla.
I was reminded of Gina recently when a reader notified me to some associates in this post led to the website of an adult film star who shared the same first and last name as Gina. Gina always got a chuckle out of that but after her go, it seemed that Gina DePalma’s website( the one for the pastry chef and baker) somehow got co-opted by her, uh…racier counterpart. As I was switching out the links, I recollected how much I adored this Zucchini Cake of hers.
Since it’s summer, people with garden-varieties are often bemoaning they have too many zucchini and are always looking for ways to use up their reward. With a crunchy lemon coating, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s the most delicious style to present a zucchini cake, whether you zucchini comes from your garden-variety, or not.
The genius of the coating is adding granulated sugar, which affords it an specially lemony, sweet, yet tangy crunch. The glaze is not a looker( which ultimately established me break away my silicone pastry brush for the first time, and I’m never going back to bristles again) but it tastes astonishing with the spicy zucchini cake and I’m happy to let seems step aside to give way to flavor.
Zucchini Cake with Crunchy Lemon Glaze
Adapted from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma
This is a substantial( and very good) cake. The crunchy glaze with the tang of fresh lemon juice genuinely induces the cake special. Be sure to grease the cake pan well to make sure it slips out easily( I use a non-stick one) and likewise make sure the cake is fully cooked.
Gina recommended olive oil in her original recipe, which is very good, but the cake also works with neutral vegetable oil in its region.
The best mode to invert the cake is to lay the chill rack over the top of the cake pan, then comprehending both the cake pan and the rack simultaneously( if it’s too hot, wear oven mitts ), flip them both over at once. Lift off the cake pan, then liberally brush the glaze over the warm cake.
ServingsServes 12 -1 6
For the cake:
1cup( 135 g)
almonds, pecans, or walnuts, toasted
2cups( 280 g)
kosher or sea salt
dehydrated soil ginger
freshly soil nutmeg
large-scale eggs, at chamber temperature
1 3/4 beakers( 350 g)
1cup( 250 ml)
extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups( 300 g)
For the lemon glaze:
1/4 bowl( 60 ml)
freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 bowl 65 g)
1cup( 140 g)
powdered( confectioner’s) sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 oF( 180 oC ). Grease a 10 beaker( 2.5 l) bundt or tube cake pan* with non-stick spray( preferably) or butter, dust with flour, then tap out any excess.
2. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped.
3. In a medium bowl, sieve together the flour, cooking gunpowder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Put aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, vanquish the eggs, 1 3/4 cup( 350 g) carbohydrate, and olive oil for 3 minutes on medium acceleration, until light and fluffy. Stop and scratch down the sides of the mixer, then add the vanilla.
5. Mix in the dry ingredients, rubbing down the sides of the mixer bowl to make sure everything is mixed in well, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
6. Stir in the chopped nuts and zucchini.
7. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top, then bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan. Do not underbake the cake.
8. During the last few minutes of the cake cooking, establish the coating by whisking together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup( 65 g) granulated sugar, and powdered carbohydrate.
9. Let the cake cool for 10 -1 five minutes, then carefully invert it onto a cool rack. Brush the glaze over the cake with a pastry brushing and let the cake cool wholly.
Storage and Tone 😛 TAGEND
-The cake can be wrapped( or put under a cake dome) and will keep for a few days. You can freeze the unglazed cake. However to apply the coating, you’ll need to defrost the cake, then warm it so the glaze will adhere properly.
-I haven’t baked it in two loaf pans, which would likely work just fine. You may need to reduce the baking time to compensate for the small pans.
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