I turned 24 on Monday and had a wonderful weekend celebrating my birthday with good friends. My best friend and his boyfriend decided to host a surprise birthday party for me on Saturday night and invited my closest friends to their place.
I’ve never been surprised before, ever. And this was the first time. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been informed or had an intuition that something was going to happen at all kinds of events. For example, receiving scholarships to university… I knew there was a good chance I’d receive them, because I was a good student and one of the few who applied for them. Or at an awards ceremony back in middle school, I was robbed of being surprised when somebody handling the awards back stage came up to me and said, “David! You got an award!” Bitch.
Even though the party crowd was small, the joy it brought was BIG. I was immensely happy to be surrounded by really good friends.
On my actual birthday, I baked my own cake to celebrate with my family. A zucchini cake covered in decadent semi-sweet chocolate maple syrup glaze and sprinkled with lightly toasted cashews.
Chocolate-Glazed Zucchini Walnut Bundt Cake
By Anna Olson, Back to Baking pg. 155 with alterations by me
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup walnut pieces
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup PC decadent chocolate chips (available only in Canada)
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used the PC decadent chocolate chips, only available in Canada)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
Lightly toasted cashews
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour a removable tube pan, tapping out the excess flour.
In a food processor, pulse the sugar, oil, maple syrup, and eggs until blended. Then add the walnuts and zucchini (half a cup at a time) and pulse to combine. Remove the batter and pour it into a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to the cake batter until combined. Add chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate chips are evenly distributed.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tube pan and bake in the oven for 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (My removable tube pan sometimes likes to leak, so for safety I like to bake it on top of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper).
Remove the cake and let it cool to room temperature in the pan for about 90 minutes. Then remove from pan and place it on a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath.
For the glaze, melt the butter and chocolate and stirring constantly. Add the maple syrup and stir to combine. Pour the glaze on top of the cake ensuring that every bit of the cake is covered. Be sure to make the drip lines on the sides to make it look more rustic. Sprinkle cashews evenly on top and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Slice and serve.
Now one of the highlights of my birthday was also meeting… Anna Olson, again! Anna Olson was also at the Good Food Festival and I decided to pay her a visit. I got her to autograph my other book and made sure she knew it was my birthday. Then she called security on me… kidding.
24 is going to be amazing, I just know it!