Thursday, July 26, 2012

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I found these zucchini in my parents' garden Monday afternoon.  Two plants grew healthy this summer in the sunny patch and they're starting to produce yields big enough to enjoy.  My mom couldn't contain her excitement when she saw these babies in her garden, she could hardly wait to pick more of them.


The day I picked those zucchini, I saw a post from King Arthur Flour's Facebook page about the double chocolate zucchini bread.  I was salivating looking at the picture that I determined I would make that the next day.  Even I couldn't contain my excitement about making a zucchini bread!

There're a lot of recipes using zucchini and chocolate but I have to say that this one is one of the best.  The amount of zucchini needed isn't outrageous (I hate grating zucchini), the chocolate flavor is really there, the bread isn't overly dry or wet, the crumb was tight, and the level of moistness is just right.  What I did differently were using half bittersweet chocolate and semisweet chocolate in the bread and save 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top of the bread; otherwise everything stayed the same.  Baking time was slightly reduced for my oven, it was around 60 minutes that the bread was done.  And I smeared some Nutella on my bread, mmm....

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

A bread like this makes me smile; it makes me think of a wonderful summer weather, the harvest from our own garden, and how connected we are to the food we grow ourselves.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Yield one 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf

2 large eggs

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

1/3 cup cocoa powder or Dutch-process cocoa

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed on a colander over a bowl or sink to release some of its moisture

1 1/4 cups chocolate chips (a combination of bittersweet and semisweet), save the 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top of bread

Preheat the oven to 350°F; lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, and flour, mixing until well combined. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Scatter the reserved 1/4 cup of chocolate chips on top of the batter.

Bake the bread for 65 to 75 minutes, until the loaf tests done (a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean, save for perhaps a light smear of chocolate from the melted chips).

Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack.  Cool completely before slicing; store well-wrapped, at room temperature.