Chocolate Zucchini Cake…I Mean Bread!

After cookies, quick breads are one of the first memories I have of learning to bake. My dad had a banana every day. Sometimes, his weekly bunch of bananas would turn too brown for eating before he got to them. My mum would stick them in the freezer until we collected enough to make a couple loves of banana bread.

My love for making quick breads has stayed. It’s almost like healthy baking because there is nearly always fruit or nuts in the recipe. I am always on the lookout for new variations on quick breads. I found one on Simply Recipes a few weeks ago that I knew I had to try. She posted a recipe for Chocolate (already have to try it) Zucchini Bread. This recipe doesn’t use just one or two cups, it calls for four cups of freshly grated zucchini. She even stated that fresher in-season zucchini will make a moister bread.

Within a couple of days of spotting this recipe, I picked up a pile of zucchini from the local grocery store. I think we are a little past zucchini season here in Florida, but I had to try out the recipe. My first question came as I was preparing the zucchini. Did I need to peel the vegetable, or could we eat the skin? Good thing google knows all the answers. The zucchini was grated washed skin and all! I did cut the ends off. As instructed, I left the gratings in a sieve over a bowl, but I didn’t have an excess moisture (which led me to believe it’s not quite zucchini season).

Despite the fact that my zucchini wasn’t dripping excess moisture, the bread was amazing! I honestly felt as if I was eating cake for breakfast. The chocolate wasn’t overpowering, but the darkness nicely hid the flecks the zucchini would have left a lighter bread. I have every intention of using this recipe for my next chocolate cake! I highly doubt anyone will notice.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
(Simply Recipes)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups grated zucchini (from about a pound and a half of zucchini)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (use natural unsweetened cocoa, NOT Dutch processed)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (12 Tbsp or 1 1/2 sticks), melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

  1. Grate zucchini into a sieve over a bowl to catch any excess moisture.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F, with a rack in the middle. Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans with baking spray or butter.
  3.  Vigorously whisk together the flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk until there are no more clumps and the ingredients are well combined.
  4. In a separate large bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until smooth, about a minute. You can do this with an electric mixer on medium speed, or by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the melted butter, instant coffee granules, and almond extract and beat until smooth.
  5. Mix the shredded zucchini into the sugar egg mixture. Add the flour to the zucchini mixture in 3 additions, stirring to combine after each addition.
  6. Work quickly, and divide the batter between the two prepared loaf pans. (Work quickly because once the dry ingredients have mixed with the wet ingredients, the leavening has begun.) Place into the oven. Bake for 50 minutes at 350°F, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean and easily. Remove to a rack. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then run a blunt knife around the edges to separate the bread from the pan. Remove from the loaf pans and let cool completely on a rack.

Despite the temptation, wait until the bread has cooled completely before slicing or it gets all crumbly. After a couple of days, I had stuck the loaf in the fridge. Keeping the bread this cool gave the bread a slightly fudgey taste. It took me a little over a week to eat the entire loaf (restricting myself to only breakfast). Even on the last day, it was still moist.

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