RECIPE: Chocolate Zucchini Bread


I am of the mindset that chocolate can be used in just about everything. Maybe I am wrong, but I wouldn't mind spending the rest of my life trying out my theory! I admit, my latest apple pie experiments with chocolate have been lack luster at best, so maybe chocolate does not go with everything.............maybe.

But one thing I have discovered is the marriage of chocolate and zucchini together. I made it for a recent brunch and the kids were fighting over the last piece. One of the children eats very little and is very picky. They never knew they were getting a good helping of vegetables in each slice! So note to you divas out there with picky kids, make this and tell them nothing. I'm not tell'n. Mums the word.

This recipe can make 2 smaller loaves in typical loaf pans, or one really big one. I like the smaller ones because the slices are the perfect size for a snack or to give to children without overdoing it, and they seem to stay fresher and last longer in two smaller loaves if wrapped properly.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. good quality dutch Cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 to 3/4 cup Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray 1-2 (depending on your choice) loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk with a fork until combined. Set aside.



With a whisk or mixer, beat the sugar with the oil until thickened. Add the sour cream, milk, egg and vanilla. Beat until thick and fluffy. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. If I amusing the mixer, I get it incorporated on the mixer, then quickly take it off and mix it more by hand. You don't want to overwork the gluten in the flour.

Then, by hand with a spatula, add the shredded zucchini. If things were a touch thick with the batter, don't worry, the zucchini has a lot of moisture and will loosen things up. Mix in the zucchini and then add the chips as well. Pour in prepared pans, smoothing tops evenly with the spatula.


Bake until toothpick at the center comes out clean. Two small loaves take about 25-30 minutes. One large loaf may take longer. Invert the breads after ten minutes of cooling on a wire rack to cool down more. Serve warm, or at room temp.


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