Saturday, March 26, 2011

Double-Chocolate Zucchini Bread

It's a quick bread.  It's a cake.  It has cocoa powder AND bittersweet chocolate.  And it's a sneaky way to hide zucchini.  Did I mention this recipe makes two loaves?  Wrap one and freeze it!

We had to sample it before it completely cooled!

Double-Chocolate Zucchini Bread
From Food Network Kitchens Cookbook
Copyright:  Meredith Press, 2003

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour two 9x5" loaf pans.

Whisk together in a medium bowl and set aside:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened, natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed; good ol' Hershey's, for example)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves

In a large work bowl,  cream together with a mixer set on medium-high speed for four minutes:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (see note below)
1 1/2 cups sugar

Drizzle in:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Beat in, one at a time:

2 large eggs, at room temperature (see note below)

Stir together in a small cup:

1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk in two parts; begin and end with flour mixture.  Scrape the sides of the bowl between additions.

Fold in:

2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini  (I used a box grater.)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used a 4 oz. Ghirardelli 60% Cacao bar.)

Divide the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The batter is a very light brown, but it will deepen into a rich chocolate brown while it bakes.  (My loaf pans are dark.  The cakes took 45 minutes to bake.  Lighter pans will take longer.)  Cool in pans on a rack before unmolding and slicing.


I had a stick of soy margarine to use up, so I used this plus one stick unsalted butter in the recipe.
To bring eggs to room temperature, place eggs in a small bowl and cover with warm tap water.  Set aside for a minute.  Drain off the water and crack the eggs into the bowl.
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