Monday, August 17, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (Baking for Mar Pt. 1)

My friend Martine "Mar" is the type of pal who sticks with you through thick and thin. She's intelligent, funny, passionate, loyal, insightful, spontaneous, and pretty much anything else you could ask for. Although we're opposites in many ways, Mar and I have been close friends since college, and she's as much family as friend to me by now. So when she asked me to make zucchini bread for her 24th birthday, I was more than happy to oblige. Oh, and if you're thinking that a veggie quickbread ain't exactly birthday material, rest assured that I take care of my own very well. Ferrero. Rocher. Cupcakes. How's that for special? All the details to come in the next post.

As for the zucchini bread, two words: simple & delicious. The hardest part may have been choosing a recipe. I like to play it safe when making food for others on special occasions. But when I don't have a go-to recipe, I turn to recipe sites with active reviewers, such as Once there, a search for zucchini bread quickly uncovered no shortage of recipes with stellar ratings. Yet they all seemed to have a cup or more of oil. That's just ridiculous to me. Fortunately, with other blogs to point the way, I found the recipe below, which I've modified slightly to be even healthier. It's perfectly sweet and moist, even with very little fat. And if you actually divide the batter evenly (it's harder than it looks...) and don't go swirl-crazy when the directions don't even say to swirl (oops), you might even get a cute wave like the title suggests ^_^.

Chocolate Wave(less) Zucchini Bread [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Allrecipes through Taste and Tell

1/4 cup oil
2 T yogurt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
few pinches of ground cloves and nutmeg
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted the nuts)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup chopped semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

In a small bowl, stir together oil, yogurt, and sugar. Mix in eggs. Add zucchini, water, and vanilla; stir. In a separate large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and spices. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until combined.

Pour half the batter into the pan. Then add cocoa powder and chocolate to the remaining half. Pour chocolate batter on top of plain batter.

Bake until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes, and remove from pan. Store in refrigerator.

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