Sunday, April 24, 2016

Extra Chocolate Zucchini Bread


If you’re from the Midwest, you know that zucchinis are abundant in the summer. Most everyone I knew grew them in their gardens. They start popping up in June and they keep on coming until late August and even September. My family would eat zucchini every which way, but my favorite way to eat them was in zucchini bread.

For anyone who has never had zucchini bread, I just want to let you know that zucchini's role in the bread is a functional role. It helps keep the bread moist for days after baking without contributing much flavor. Minus the green flecks in the bread, you wouldn’t even know that there was zucchini in it.

Zucchini bread falls into the “quick bread” family. Quick bread is bread that is made with a leavening agent other than yeast. Yeast breads can take hours to rise and they can sometimes be finicky and tricky to make. On the other hand, quick breads are made with chemical leavening agents (baking soda and/or baking powder). Chemical leavening agents are very reliable and quick and yield uniform results.

But it is very important to note that chemical leavening agents start reacting immediately once they are mixed with liquid and because of this you cannot make the batter ahead of time. You must bake the batter immediately after mixing it.

The recipe below is a chocolatey version of the recipe my mom has been making for years. However, as you take a look at the ingredients, you'll notice that there really isn't much extra-added sugar and fat. That's because I cut the amount of sugar in half from the original recipe and I replaced half of the butter with applesauce. You could also replace half of the white flour with whole wheat flour, but I wouldn’t recommend substituting more than half because it could significantly change the taste.

Feel free to add mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, dried pineapple, or coconut to the batter as well! And of course, I recommend spreading a thick layer of Challenge butter on the bread. Challenge butter is 100% natural, without the use of the synthetic hormone rbST.



Extra Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Yield: 1 large loaf (9in x 5in) or 2 small loaves (5.75in x 3in) or 12 regular-sized muffins

Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour (125 grams)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (60 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (103 grams)
  • 1/2 stick Challenge butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (62 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium-large zucchini, 150 grams)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit; prepare loaf pan with non-stick spray
  2. Combine flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium-seized bowl; set aside
  3. Combine eggs, brown sugar, butter, applesauce, and vanilla extract in large bowl; fold in shredded zucchini
  4. Pour dry ingredients into bowl of wet ingredients; stir until just combined
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes for large loaf pan (Or about 35 minutes for small loaf pan; or about 15 minutes for muffins)
  8. Store leftovers in airtight container for up to 5 days



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