Thursday, August 19, 2010

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Two major life events are rapidly approaching and there's nothing I can do to change their course. So, I've been baking instead.

This first, and most imminent, event is my 32nd birthday (tomorrow) and I'm trying to drum up some excitement over it. Sure, I'm looking forward to a girl's night out to see Eat, Pray, Love followed by stuffing ourselves with pizza margherita's, but the birthday -that number- not so fun!

The second event takes place a week from Monday when Noah will start kindergarten. There's a whole lot of emotions welling up over that big day that I won't even get into!

In an attempt to compose my mixed sentiments over these two events, I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Baking and cooking is clearly therapeutic for me, and 'recipe testing' can sometimes be code for 'working through some stuff'.

One of the many projects on my plate this week was to perfect my zucchini bread recipe. Several pounds of zucchini and eight various loaves later, I narrowed my favorite down to two, one of them featured here today and the other, or 'The Best Zucchini Bread Ever', will be has been posted Monday on Simple Bites.

Both recipes are actually fantastic; however, I know I have a bevy of chocolate lovers over here, so that may have influenced my decision to feature a chocolate zucchini bread here.

This dark and deadly loaf is "...too good to be healthy" as one of my 'tasters' remarked. But with the inclusion of whole-wheat flour and plenty of zucchini, it's a lot better for you than a slice of cake.

This, in fact, will probably be my birthday cake, it's that great. Double chocolate? It's allll good.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Joy of Baking

  • 1/2 c. cake flour
  • 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1 cup organic turbinado sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded, raw zucchini
  • 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven. Grease, or spray with nonstick vegetable spray, a 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Set aside.

Grate the zucchini using a medium sized grater. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until well blended – about 2 minutes. Fold in the grated zucchini. Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Then fold in the chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55-65 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and cool completely.

Yields one large loaf.


christelle is flabbergasting said...

Happy 32nd birthday for tomorrow! :D
And, oh, I really understand the "therapeutic" thing of baking... I feel exactly the same! Nice bread, it really looks delicious!

Unknown said...

I am 32 myself, happy bday - have fun with the girls

MaryBeth said...

Happy Birthday! I've proceeded you in being 32 by 17 days. 32 has been great so far. Really. Thanks again for your fabulous blogs that give me a never-ending supply of recipes to try.

Tiffany Rieder said...

Okay I am going to try it as I am desperate for zucchini recipes. I will do some canning but it just keeps on coming. I have zucchini coming out of my ears. The one veg my kids don't like of course so I have been brunoising it into everything. What always helps me with getting older ( I am 39 trying to figure out how I got here so fast), is to think whats the alternative? You are alive and well and that is a blessing.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Happy birthday, Aimee! Enjoy your cake (all three of them look fantastic), enjoy your chick flick, enjoy 32!

K E Fleck said...

Happy Birthday!!!

And the 30s? My favorite decade of life thus far :-)

Elizabeth said...

WOw..that is one decadent looking zucchini bread. Yummmmmy....

Oh and happy birthday Aimée, may this year bring you all that you dream for and more. 32 is not that high you know...:)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Wishes. The Zucchini Bread looks great! I am going to "try" and recreate it this Sunday for my boss, his birthday is next Monday. About a week ago I found your blog; it has been great reading through. I started with the blueberry syrup and my 8 year old son loves it! Wish I would have found your blog sooner!

Anonymous said...

That looks too delicious for words. Impressively dark and chocolate-y!

Cheers to an outstanding birthday,


Melissa said...

Oh wow! That looks amazing. Happy Birthday and good luck with the kindergarten milestone!

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday!! And thanks for thinking about me :P Lol
That chocolate bread is calling out to me :)

Aimée said...

Thanks so much for all the sweet birthday wishes, everyone. You made my day!

AriH said...

Happy Birthday tomorrow!
As for "that" number... just look at it this way: there will come a day, I guarantee you, where you look back and you will feel that being 32 would be a fantastic thing.
At 47, I would very gladly be there again, and I can honestly say I envy you that age! So, I recommend and wish you wholehearted enjoyment of being a glorious 32!

Anonymous said...

Too funny because this morning I was thinking about making a chocolate zucchini cake for this weekend. Perfect timing. I love how chocolate-y it looks!

Mandy Wood said...

I read this post and then that's all I have thought about all day - I keep seeing that chocolate density in my head and wishing I had a piece right now! I don't dare make it as I'm sure I would eat the entire thing in one day! hahahah (Well, maybe not, but I'd be sorely tempted to! If a photo affects me this strongly, I can't imagine what a taste might do!)

Happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy happy birthday!! This loaf looks beyond decadent but I love how I can actually consider it healthy in the grand scheme of things. My boyfriend will love this as a birthday cake!

Sarah said...

Happy Birthday Aimee! This chocolate zucchini bread looks fantastic! Can't wait to try it. Thank you so much for sharing :-)

Kristen Perkins ("Grace's Mom") said...

I am making this now to cure some starting kindergarten anxiety we have going on over here. Just the act of baking it has helped. Maybe eating it will be the cure-all! Thanks for sharing and have the happiest of birthdays!

Alissa Maxwell said...

Oh boy, a SECOND fabulous Zucchini "bread" recipe? I think you're giving us all a gift in honor of your birthday. I'll agree that 32 sounds bad at first, but is really quite nice. We are old enough to celebrate life's experience, but still young enough to embark on new hobbies. I'm learning to Mountain Bike this year... how about you?

Ashlee said...

This bread is delicious! Thanks so much for sharing!

Natalie said...

Happy Belated Bday--mine was Sat :)

double chocolate ANYTHING is good in my book--beautiful pics!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Mmmm chocolate and zucchinis is one of my favorite combination's!

molly said...

Indeed! Just made one very similar, and it was FANTASTIC! Moist, deeply chocolatey, and even a hit with my chocolate-loving, zucchini-loathing boy.

We just started Kindergarten today. Bring kleenex. And pom poms. Big day, with heart-swelling pride.

Happy bday!

Savannah, Acts of Sweetness Ambassador said...

A baker on our online community was asking around for a zucchini recipe so I linked to this post on our Facebook wall. I'm sure she (and others) will appreciate it!

All the best!

Jo and Sue said...

Love the photos!! I've printed out the recipe to try this coming weekend. Can't wait to taste it. Have a great birthday!

AJ said...

This is amazing! Made it the other day for company and 2 loaves were quickly eaten. Reminded us of the indulgent Costco muffins that are SUPER naughty. I'm making another double batch for the freezer this week as I'm stocking up some quick brunchy stuff for after our baby is born and the company starts coming.

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