I am in the midst of selling and buying a house so I have not had time in the kitchen to try out recipes. I should be back doing my regular schtick by the end of July. In the interim enjoy some of my reposts. See you soon!
[Note: A version of this post published a few years go has been my most successful blog to date. I get at least one hit on it every day and often more. I’m not sure if it’s the title or the content, but it’s had amazing success. I have updated it with some additional thoughts since I’ve made this recipe dozens of times since first posting it, have definitely perfected it and can provide some additional lessons learned. This is the ideal post for this time of year, especially if you’re like me and have tons of zucchini and are running out of ideas on how to use them. Of all my zucchini recipes, savory or sweet, this is by far my absolutely favorite!]
I love to grow vegetables in my garden. It’s not only fun it’s also very satisfying. And I’ve learned over the years, just like anything else in life, 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 and produce more 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’d 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 and Mushroom Gratin (thanks in part 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 originally pinned 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 original version of the recipe, it is from King Arthur’s Flour, but I love my version for several reasons. So let’s rate the recipe and talk about some lessons learned by making it several times over the past year.
Recipe Rating: A+ to the moon and back (my highest rating ever)! This is by far the best recipe recipe I’ve found to use zucchini, sweet or savory. It is easy to make and uniquely flavorful. I guarantee if you try this, it will become one of your staple recipes.
Lesson Learned 1 – You don’t need butter and white sugar to make a cake sweet: There is no butter or white sugar in this recipe. The substitutes for them are vegetable oil, honey and chocolate chips. This produces a cake/bread that tastes like a flourless chocolate cake with just the right amount of sweetness without being sickeningly sweet. We are so used to a lot of sugar in recipes that the first time I tasted this I wasn’t sure if I liked it. After a few bites I was hooked and now I prefer it to the sweeter versions of zucchini breads.
Lesson Learned 2 – Zucchini enhances the moistness of the bread: This recipe uses a good quantity of zucchini, two cups patted down (that translates into about two 8-9 inch long zucchinis). As with other types of zucchini breads, you really don’t taste the zucchini but it gives the bread a wonderful moistness. Plus it is a great way to use up a bumper crop of zucchini which I tend to get just about every year.
Lesson Learned 3 – Coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate: The original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder used as a flavor enhancer. I couldn’t find espresso powder at my local grocery store so I just used plain ole’ brewed coffee as a substitute, 2 tablespoons to be exact. It’s amazing how much more robust coffee makes the flavor of chocolate! Plus we make coffee everyday and don’t drink espresso so I didn’t have to spend money on something that would wind up taking up shelf space in the pantry and only used for a few recipes.
Lesson Learned 4 – Add frozen chocolate chips: When adding ingredients like fruit or baking chips you normally have to coat them in flour so they don’t all fall to the bottom of the bread. If you freeze your chips and then add them at the very end right before pouring the mixture into the pan, they will distribute evenly in the bread without having to flour them.
This recipe is simple to make and is so killer delicious you won’t believe what you are tasting. Try it and let me know what you think. Also, I am always on the lookout for zucchini recipes so please if you have a favorite, share it and I will try to make it. I am determined to use all of the zucchini my garden produces and so variety is key to getting that accomplished! Enjoy this one!
Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
2 large eggs, at room temperature
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
2 TBS. brewed coffee (or 1/2 tsp. espresso powder)
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 2/3 cup flour
2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed
1 cup frozen chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate chips)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Grate two 8-9 inch zucchinis. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, oil, brown sugar, vanilla and coffee until smooth.
3. In a separate bowl combine the salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and flour whisking until well combined. (if using espresso powder add it to the dry ingredients). Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Do not over mix.
4. Stir in the zucchini until combined. Add the frozen chocolate chips.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
6. Bake the bread for 65-75 minutes. 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.