Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

March 17, 2014

chocolate zucchini bread.

Spring Break!!

I could've been blogging this from the sunny, sparkling beaches of PCB or Mexico or Cancun. Of course, if I were in any of those places, I wouldn't be blogging - I'd be letting the sun's warm rays blotting my stresses away. That blue sky breeze would be welcome, not just another hurdle to run through. And my only worry would be whether the waves would reach my chair on the shore.

At that point, I'd be obligated to play Knee Deep [by Zac Brown Band].

As it is, I'm still wearing a sweatshirt, am still hesitant to shower for fear that maybe this will be the time I dilly dally a little too long & lose an appendage to hypothermia, and would still rather stay in my warm bed than do anything else. The latter works perfectly with my recent House of Cards obsession.

Do you guys watch? If not, I recommend it .. it fluctuates between WHAT JUST HAPPENED and boring political story-lines, but is worth it. It's also had a surprising overlap with an interesting public health course I'm taking - "Addiction Policy." Who knew the role of lobbyists today didn't include a ton of back-slapping, booze, and cigars? The show even had a little comment on e-cigarettes - how they're still addictive (because they have nicotine), but they have less bad ingredients than regular cigarettes.

Back to right now though .. there was one major benefit to not going on a Spring Break trip - being able to make and eat this bread!

By the way, bread was not a mistype. I would still call it a bread - I just happened to treat it more like a cake and frost it thinly. It's great without the frosting, too! I actually left some pieces unfrosted (all the ones that are gone in the picture he he)

This bread is incredibly moist - as long as you use good zucchini that has noticeable moisture when you're grating it. You can't detect the zucchini - it just melds into the bread for a fudgy texture. The addition of brown sugar also makes for more depth of flavor and lends extra moistness.

The only piece that betrayed my zucchini inclusion (bottom left).

Mini chocolate chips are better for even distribution, but chocolate chunks create the most amazing pockets of gooey-ness. I prefer more chocolate, but used mini because it's what was on hand.

I won't include a frosting recipe below, but here's what I mixed: 6 tablespoons room temp butter + least 1.5 cups powdered sugar (will probably need more, see as you go) + a couple large spoonfuls of cocoa + teeny bit vanilla + some cooled, melted chocolate (so butter doesn't melt) if you're feeling up to it.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread 
from here. In an effort to keep it a little healthier, I put a big spoonful of Greek yogurt into the 1/2 cup measure before filling it to the brim with oil.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder 
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (any size will work)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 1/2 cups grated raw unpeeled zucchini (courgette, as it's also called) 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Whisk eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla well. Gently mix in zucchini. 
  4. Fold dry mixture into wet mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. 
  5. Pour batter into a greased (9"x5") loaf pan, or a 9" square baking pan. 
  6. If using loaf pan, bak 55-65 minutes. For the square pan, bake for about 45 - 55 minutes. Check a little before time for doneness by gently pressing the middle of the bread. It should rise up in response. A clean toothpick in the center also indicates doneness. Do not mistake melted chocolate for unbaked batter. 
  7. After removing from oven, let cool in pan for 15 - 20 minutes. The bread can then be cooled on a wire rack. I was able to store this bread in the pan, tightly covered with foil, for about a week with almost no loss of moisture. Enjoy!

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