There is nothing dramatic about this cake. A simple 9 inch round, one bowl to mix it in, getting crazy with a little cinnamon in the traditional cream cheese frosting. In other words, my kind of dessert.
The sort to make for a weeknight dinner guest. Our longtime friend Karl is leaving Seattle by way of a 'round the world trip. Of course he's endured his fair share of Eat, Pray, Love jokes, but he's in a different category, I assure you. The category of working to get through grad school, getting a job helping homeless folks find housing, and now risking like crazy to leave all that. We are going to miss him, and nothing says, "Don't forget about us!" like food. He requested puttanesca for dinner and this cake was (surprise!) concocted based on my produce drawer. (By the way, if you're interested in a spot-on commentary on the whole Eat, Pray, Love phenomenon--i.e. "How was that trip funded?!"--click here. I love it when the author says that most of us need to have our epiphanies in the middle of everyday life. Or in the middle of sheer survival.)
For Karl, on his grand adventure. May he, with joy, be thrown into the highs and lows, the sights and smells, the loneliness and companionship that such a trip can bring. And for the rest of us, on our grand adventures. Maybe it's making a cake for the first time. Maybe it's saying "no" to something we've always wanted to refuse. Maybe it's settling into the very UNadventurous reality of our own lives and--miracle of miracles--being content there.
Zucchini Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
I love that this cake uses olive oil instead of vegetable oil to moisten it. Like the recipe says, don't use extra virgin. I usually have some milder stuff around for uses like this. I love the very slightest hint of depth it gives the cake. If you don't have a mild olive oil in your pantry, I'd sub vegetable oil before you throw in an expensive extra virgin variety. And I didn't have a 9" pan with 2" sides, so used a 9" springform instead. It worked beautifully.