Tuesday, August 24, 2010
As a teen I made chocolate zucchini bread often, my mother grew zucchini in her garden, and like most gardeners, grew much more than she could ever convince her family to eat. One challenge I encountered was consistency, sometimes the bread turned out beautifully, other times it fell. I learned the hard way: frozen zucchini doesn't work, and if you use the gigantic ones your well-meaning gardener friends leave on your doorstep, you'd better seed them first and squeeze out the excess moisture after grating.
I've added chocolate chips to the recipe, I wanted more chocolate flavor than the cocoa alone provides. Feel free to add 1 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter, some bakers add cinnamon or orange zest as well.
I wanted to experiment a bit with different pan sizes, this time I used an 8 x 4, and a 9 x 5. The larger pan took quite a bit longer, and is more crispy on the top. Perhaps this batter is more successful in smaller loaves? We shall see. The flavor is excellent, and no, I didn't tell Charlie about the zucchini until after she'd eaten a large slice.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup natural cocoa (like Hershey's)
pinch instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini -- unpeeled, about 12 oz by weight
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease or spray the bottom and sides of two loaf pans, I used an 8 x 4 and a 9 x 5, the larger pan took about 15 minutes more to bake.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, instant espresso and chocolate chips in large bowl. Set aside.
Combine sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl; mix on low to medium speed
of mixer until combined. Add oil and vanilla extract; beat until combined.
Slowly, stir in zucchini. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened, finishing by hand with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon.
Divide batter evenly between prepared loaf pans. Bake for 50 to 65 minutes or
until wooden pick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on
wire racks 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.