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Although zucchini is not in season here in Pennsylvania, it is most assuredly in the gardens of Marg's Australian neighborhood. So for those of you south of the equator, make this heavenly bread now. The rest of us can avoid the bother of tracking down out-of-season veggies and bake it in six months.
The recipe I'm sharing here is the one I've made for years. I have no idea where it comes from. The only change I made to it was to add the ½ teaspoon espresso powder. Leave it out if you don't own it or don't want to use it.
This recipe calls for buttermilk. I use the dry powdered buttermilk you can find in the baking section of almost all grocery stores in the United States. In a pinch, place a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and pour in enough milk to make 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes before using.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
1 nine-inch loaf
1 medium zucchini
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa (Dutch process is best)
½ teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan.
Grate or shred the zucchini; you should have a generous cup of squash. By hand, squeeze the squash to get out the excess liquid. (No need to go crazy here, it shouldn't be completely dry.)
Whisk the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a medium bowl. Add the zucchini. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa , espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring just until incorporated; do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and about ¾ cup of the nuts.
Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and top with the remaining nuts. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Then remove from the pan and let cool completely before slicing.