Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread
I’ve always loved my mum’s recipe for zucchini bread, but many years have passed since she last made it for the family. Much to my delight, I had a rather large zucchini on my hands last week – and no, that’s not a euphemism for anything, I’m talking vegetables here! – and decided to bake up a loaf over the weekend. I personally happen to think most baked goods taste better when you throw a handful (or two) of chocolate chunks into the mix, and this was no exception. If you cringe at the thought of eating zucchini and chocolate together, rest assured – this bread has no hint of zucchini flavour! It’s moist texture and sweet spiced flavour are rather reminiscent of a pumpkin bread. Throw in some chunks of dark chocolate, and you have absolute bread perfection on your hands.
Note: This recipe calls for sour milk – please, whatever you do, don’t wait for store-bought milk to actually sour. Simply add a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice (or vinegar) to 1/2 cup of milk and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes to sour.
DARK CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD
Makes: 2 loaves
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 cups freshly grated zucchini
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil and flour 2 rectangular loaf pans; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend butter, vegetable oil and sugar on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, vanilla extract and sour milk, blending at medium speed for 30 seconds.
3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves; blend at medium speed for 1 minute or until thoroughly incorporated.
4. Remove bowl from electric mixer and stir in, by hand, zucchini, chocolate chunks and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.
5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then invert on a wire rack to cool thoroughly.