I had bought some zucchini intending to use it in a dinner this past week. Though for whatever reason it got passed over and caught my eye as I was going to make banana bread to have for breakfasts. Hmm... hated it to go to waste.... zucchini-banana bread, perhaps?
Ok, even for me, I admit that would have been a bit weird, so I changed gears and went for zucchini bread instead, as I haven't had that in ages. I used a recipe from my mom, and decided mid-mix that it would be chocolate zucchini bread (I like typing the word zucchini...) so threw in some cocoa powder to the mix.
It came out dense and moist and surprisingly dark... the dark of nightmares. Y'see, I have this thing...
about getting my hands dirty... not just dirty, but gooey. An unfortunate squick to have as a cook, but such is life. It goes back all the way to my first birthday where my dad pushed my hands into my birthday cake and instead of playing with it like a normal toddler, I cried because there was gooey stuff between my fingers. And don't even get me started on things between my toes... though luckily that doesn't affect my cooking nearly as much :P
So anyway! The reason this comes up is that this batter is an extremely thick one. So thick that just mixing with a spoon will not blend the dry and wet ingredients together properly. You have to get in there with your hands. Or, yanno, use the stand mixer your boyfriend bought you and that would have spared you the horror in the first place but that you totally forgot about. So unless you have a stand mixer (that you remember to use), take off any rings and just stick your hands in and start mixin'. It only takes a few minutes (that feel like a lifetime) and it will come together easily, but man is it sticky! Clean off your hands (or stand in front of the faucet and cry until your boyfriend takes pity on you and turns on the water) and divide the batter into two greased loaf tins.
It's easy to make and comes out dense, dark and tasty. In fact, it just looks like a rich chocolate cake... until you break a piece off and a string of zucchini dangles from it and you panic for a second thinking "OHMYGOD! What the heck is... oh riiiiiiight, I put shredded zucchini in it! Heh, never mind." ;) Neuroses aside, this is a good Sunday morning kind of bread and stores well in the fridge. Cocoa powder works well, though I think melted chocolate would be even better... will have to try that next time.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup oil
3 eggs (with a pinch of salt)
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini, shredded
Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs with a pinch of salt until blended, then add oil and vanilla. Add dry mixture to wet and stir until evenly moist. Add zucchini and mix until blended (stand mixer or hands work best for this). Divide batter into two greased loaf pans and bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing form pan. Can be stored in fridge in pan or wrapped in plastic.