02 February 2013

The Kitchen Journal: Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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Today's Weekend Cooking post is dedicated to my friend Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader. Last week she commented on a post by Beth of Too Fond, wondering about the combination of chocolate and zucchini. I assured her that chocolate zucchini bread (or muffins or cake) was really, really good. And to prove it I made the ultimate sacrifice of baking some last weekend.

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.


rhapsodyinbooks 2/2/13, 7:46 AM  

This recipe brings back fond memories for me of a neighbor when I was in high school (back in the Dark Ages) who brought over chocolate zucchini cake for us to try, and we were so astounded that anyone could use zucchini in a cake! And of course so instantly converted! :--)

Tina 2/2/13, 7:51 AM  

I have never given any thought to combining the two ingredients. With the exception of the blog Chocolate and Zucchini, those two never seemed to connect with me. Until I saw this post! It looks moist and the chocolate is most appealing. Very nice.

Marg 2/2/13, 7:55 AM  

Oh....bringing out the big guns now! Not just choc but double choc!

My sister was just giving away some zucchini yesterday - one of them was about a foot and a half long - no exaggeration!

Once I finish the choc chip banana bread I made today I will take up your challenge and make this!

Rikki 2/2/13, 8:05 AM  

I love zucchini bread. The chocolate variety sounds even better!

jama 2/2/13, 8:27 AM  

I love chocolate zucchini bread. Thanks for sharing your recipe :).

JoAnn 2/2/13, 8:35 AM  

A summer favorite!! My mother bakes it in such enormous quantities that I'm still pulling it out of the freezer when I need a special treat.

JoAnn 2/2/13, 8:35 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon (Giraffe Days) 2/2/13, 8:36 AM  

I've never tried this combination, but I can see that it would work - zucchini is, after all, flavourless but adds great moisture!!

You mentioned out-of-season veggies; it's interesting, because in Toronto they just import them from California or South America in winter, so there're plenty of zucchini available. Harder to find things like asparagus though. I always feel so conflicted about this - important to be able to get veggies all year round, yet so bad to truck them so far etc.

Well, nothing can beat home-grown anyway, veggies from the supermarket never have any flavour. No wonder people don't like them. If they'd only grow their own they'd see how flavourful they really are!!

Joy Weese Moll 2/2/13, 9:06 AM  

This looks delicious. Another reason to look forward to zucchini season!

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 2/2/13, 9:22 AM  

Never tried chocolate in my zucchini bread. I'm going to hang on to this recipe. By mid-summer I always have more zucchini than I know what to do with.

(Diane) bookchickdi 2/2/13, 9:43 AM  

I have never had chocolate zucchini bread, but it sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing this.

Beth S. 2/2/13, 10:07 AM  

OMG. That bread looks soooo good. *Mouth watering*

Cecelia 2/2/13, 10:13 AM  

I'm bookmarking this recipe - it looks fantastic! I had a zucchini muffin recipe, but not a chocolate/zucchini combo. Now I'll just have to wait until they're in season...

Kerry Ann @Vinobaby's Voice 2/2/13, 10:42 AM  

LOVE zucchini bread—this sounds delish. Come summertime, when zucchini is cheap and plentiful, I put it in everything. Can't go wrong with chocolate—yum!

bermudaonion 2/2/13, 11:48 AM  

Oh my gosh, that looks delicious! I want some now!

Fay 2/2/13, 12:08 PM  

This is one of those recipes I've always meant to try, and zucchini prices are not bad right now. We get a lot of produce from Chile and Mexico at this time of year, but they are usually expensive.

Julie Goucher 2/2/13, 1:09 PM  

What a strange yet obviously popular combination.

Robin M 2/2/13, 4:06 PM  

Seriously drooling here. And I'm going grocery shopping today. Will definitely try this.

Heather 2/2/13, 5:54 PM  

this loaf looks wonderful. Now if i only had some buttermilk.... I have the fresh zucchini in the fridge already.

Ali 2/2/13, 7:30 PM  

Yum! What a great twist on the traditional zucchini bread. I will have to try this.

Andi 2/2/13, 11:53 PM  

Yum! I love zucchini bread, and this sounds like a nice change.

Anonymous,  2/3/13, 12:50 AM  

I absolutely love chocolate zucchini bread. This recipe looks divine.

Uniflame 2/3/13, 5:43 AM  

This sounds great! I have to try this, all though usually the zucchinis are gone here before we know it :)

Laurie C 2/3/13, 10:29 AM  

I've never tried chocolate zucchini bread before, but I love the idea of adding nuts to regular zucchini bread and topping it with additional chopped nuts. How did I never think of doing that? Might try the chocolate twist, too!

Sue Jackson 2/3/13, 11:43 AM  

OOohh...your recipe looks wonderful! I am definitely going to print it and save it for summer!


Book By Book

Anonymous,  2/3/13, 4:20 PM  

Oh yes, quite the sacrifice indeed. ;-)

Carole 2/3/13, 7:44 PM  

Hi there, just letting you know that you are in my Featured Book Blog sidebar for Feebruary on Carole's Chatter. Have a great week.

Peaceful Reader 2/3/13, 8:05 PM  

I know my weekend has been too busy if it takes me two days to put together my W.C. post! I love the vinegar and milk trick to make buttermilk. My grandmother taught me that years ago. I do own a box of the powdered stuff as well.

Chocolate zucchini is a perfect match as us Midwest gardeners know.

Daryl 2/4/13, 7:47 AM  

a delightful lunch of many dishes .. shared here

Margot 2/4/13, 5:51 PM  

I'm definitely a believer in the zucchini/chocolate combination. I have a cake recipe that is a favorite of everyone who eats it. I'll save your recipe for this summer. It looks and sounds very good.

Julie P. 2/5/13, 2:55 PM  

This sounds heavenly. I made a zucchini chocolate brownie that Booking Son can eat (egg and dairy-free!)

Joanna Hennon 2/6/13, 2:40 PM  

I love baking with courgettes and they go so well with chocolate. Harry Eastwood's baking book has loads of recipes with courgettes and not only chocolate ones. Everything I've made is fantastic, I think you'd like her!

Christine 2/8/13, 5:39 PM  

I love chocolate zucchini bread! I haven't had it in a long time, though.. and don't have a go-to recipe. I'm bookmarking this one!

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