Monday, August 31, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I totally went against my word yesterday. I'd sworn, after spending so much time in the kitchen last weekend that I was going to give myself a break from cooking. But it turns out I couldn't help it! Here's why: after getting zucchini from my CSA, missing an event when friends baked a zucchini cake and facing a chilly and cloudy Sunday, I decided that I needed to bake. (Side note: it totally feels like fall here in Iowa. The lows have been in the 50s and this morning when I went to breakfast it was 57! A little strange not to be sweating through the last days of August, but I'm not complaining!) I think I wound up with my oven on for about 5 straight hours—I made granola bars (I made a batch last weekend but I burned them since I used a bigger pan than the recipe called for and didn't adjust the baking time), whole wheat bread, roasted veggies and this chocolate zucchini bread. I was really craving it and since I couldn't find a recipe that I liked, I decided to tweak a basic zucchini bread recipe to my liking. I realize that this is a risk since baking can be a precision sport, but I figured that this type of bread would take a lot to mess up. Below is what I wound up doing. It made my house smell delicious and I'm looking forward to eating this for breakfast with a side of yogurt, and also for a few afternoon snacks.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Adapted from How to Cook Everything*
Time: 1 1/2 hours
Makes: 1 loaf

2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 c sugar (I used half raw cane sugar and half honey for flavor)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 c dutch process cocoa
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped walnuts
2 eggs
1 1/4 c milk
1/2 stick butter, melted plus more to grease the pan
1 c grated and drained zucchini (I probably used closer to a cup and a half as I didn't want to waste the remainder of the one I was using)

1.) Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2.) Combine all of the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs with the milk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it, along with the zucchini. Use a large spoon to fold the ingredients together being careful not to overmix. The batter should be lumpy.
3.) Pour into the prepared loaf pan and baked for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out dry. Cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

*I've been cooking from this cookbook a lot lately and I hope it's not getting boring for you. I think that it's a great place to start because the basic recipes are all so great that it allows me to confidently build off of them.

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