(Please check out my more recent post regarding this recipe and the lessons I’ve learned after a year of making it several times – just click here and enjoy!)
I love to grow vegetables in my garden. It’s not only fun it’s very satisfying. And I’ve learned over the years, just like anything else, that less is more. So I’ve finally come to terms with having blank space in my garden knowing that as the summer progresses the vegetable plants will fill them in. They’re also much happier because now they have the room to grow and don’t have to compete with other plants for space and water. What a concept. I wish I had figured that out a lot sooner.
And for some reason my gardening prowess seems to be growing zucchini. Once the onslaught begins it never seems to end. I love grilled zucchini and I have a great recipe for zucchini gratin (thanks to Ina Garten) but I’ve struggled with using zucchini to make zucchini bread. The usual recipes seemed too dry and too bland to me. I was searching for the perfect recipe and happened to stumble upon it last year thanks to Pinterest and my friend Kelly Brown who posted it. It is a recipe for double chocolate zucchini bread and I am not kidding when I say it is to die for! I can’t take credit for the recipe, it is from King Arthur’s Flour, but I love it for several reasons. First, there is no white sugar in the recipe – honey is the substitute for that. Second it uses a good quantity of zucchini, two cups patted down that translates into about two 8-9 inch long zucchinis. Third it uses coffee as a flavor enhancer (technically the recipe calls for espresso powder but I have been challenged in finding that so I just substitute plain ole’ brewed coffee) and it is amazing how much more robust coffee makes the chocolate flavor. Fourth, it is so simple to make and it so killer delicious you won’t believe what you are tasting.
So enough is enough – here is the recipe. I will write the recipe as originally printed and note adjustments I made to it that work for me in high altitude. I guarantee you will enjoy this one!
Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
2 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp. espresso powder (I used a Tbs. of brewed coffee and got the same effect)
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 2/3 cup flour
2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed
1 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan (I used the 9 inch loaf pan and struggle to think that the amount of batter you get in this recipe would fit in an 8 inch pan. It doesn’t rise all that much, but there is a lot of batter).
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, oil, sugar and vanilla until smooth. (I added the brewed coffee to this mixture).
3. Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa and flour mixing until well combined.
4. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
6. Bake the bread for 65-75 minutes. (the first time I did this I way overcooked the bread. I think because I was using a bigger pan and it takes less time. So now I only bake mine for 45 minutes and it turns out perfectly. If you use the smaller pan you may have to bake it longer because the batter will be less spread out. You may have to play with the cooking times the first few times you make this recipe. Don’t get frustrated if it is not perfect the first time. I guarantee it is worth figuring out how it will work for you and your oven). Test for doneness (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).
7. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan.
8. Cool completely before slicing (although slightly warm is delectable as well). Store well wrapped at room temperature.
One more thing to note: I am always on the lookout for zucchini recipes so feel free to share. Enjoy making this one – it is divine!