Friday, July 22, 2011
Zucchini Time Chocolate Bread
If you love zucchini squash this is a great time of year. If not, keep a watch on your porch because sometimes gardeners get overwhelmed with too many and will drop some on your doorstep under cover of darkness.
My squash plants are producing like mad. Fortunately over the years I've found fellow squash lovers who gladly take the extras so no midnight furtiveness is necessary for disposing of them.
One of the ways I love to eat zucchini is in a quickbread with cocoa and chocolate chips added. The first variation I baked had fresh cherries added. Another time I added chopped almonds, almond meal and fresh diced apricots but that version didn't please me, so it never made it onto the blog. This past week, with the help of Cucumber Spraygun who is visiting from the east coast, we made a version with walnuts and dried cranberries (Craisins) that was delicious.
For someone who usually bakes by herself, its sometimes difficult to bake with someone else, even an excellent baker like CS. I kept forgetting things so it was a good thing that we had laid out all of the ingredients. First I forgot that the sugar doesn't go with the dry ingredients...it gets beaten with the eggs. CS caught my mistake and we were able to scoop about 1/2 cup of the sugar out of the dry ingredients and beat it with the eggs. At the end I was so intent on not overmixing the batter that we completely left out the nuts
CS sprinkled them heavily on top which was a great save since it meant toasted walnuts...yum...but we think it may also have caused, somehow, for the bread to rise really high in the middle. Last, but not least, I didn't check the bread often enough so the edges ended up slightly burnt which is not good with chocolate.
The good news is that despite all of those errors we ended up with a lovely bread that was moist inside and delicious. It's also easy to make if you pay attention.
Some of the shredded zucchini that we prepared for going in to the bread was excess, so that went into meatloaf and a salad in subsequent days. We also eat zucchini grilled and I put it into my favorite spaghetti sauce, which can be found here. I'm thinking of making some banana bread and adding some shredded zucchini to that. I'll let you know if I do.
There are a few recipes, including the Cake Slice Baker July challenge, which will be posted later. Right now its more fun doing other things with CS and Sweetie...hope you understand. XO Elle
Chocolate Zucchini Bread with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts
ELIZABETH'S PHENOMENAL CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD
brought to you via Robin Brande & Jama Rattigan & Tanita Davis
3 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs or equivalent egg substitute
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2-3 medium zucchini)(measured after being squeezed dry)
½ cup chopped nuts ( we used walnuts)
1 pkg (12-oz) chocolate chips
½ cup died cranberries (Craisins)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9x5" loaf pans with canola spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. In a separate bowl, beat eggs (or egg substitute and water) with the sugar until well combined. Add oil, yogurt and vanilla. Beat to combine, then stir in zucchini. Add wet bowl to dry bowl and stir until just moistened. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips and Craisins.
Spoon evenly into pans. Bake 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Check before 55 minutes...chocolate can burn easily.. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then turn onto racks. This bread is yummy when eaten still warm...the chips are melty and the fragrance is full chocolate!