If you or anyone you know has a garden, I’m sure you know what it’s like to have a heap of fruits or vegetables coming in every day, waiting to be eaten. The thing is, you usually can’t eat them all the normal way, especially when your garden is sprouting monster zucchini. In this case though, that’s a good thing, because I love zucchini bread! It’s so moist and so different from eating zucchini the typical way.
I actually don’t always make chocolate zucchini bread. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve ever had it, let alone made it. Regular zucchini bread is so good that I never bothered trying anything else. But this year, a certain recipe intrigued me, mixing zucchini with chocolate, coffee, and cardamom. It was one of those things where as soon as I came across it, the idea latched onto my mind and wouldn’t let go until I tried it.
The combination of flavors in this bread is definitley unique. I think the cardamom in particular is unexpected, but in a good way. However, if you don’t like cardamom, just leave it out. It’s still a moist, chocolatey, not too sweet zucchini bread. What I usually do when using spices and herbs is smell them first. If I like the smell, I use it, and if I don’t like the smell, I skip it or use something else.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
adapted from Vanilla Basil
(makes 1 loaf)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coffee beans
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa (preferable dark, dutch-processed)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Oven Temperature: 350 F
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, olive oil, sugars, vanilla, ground coffee beans, ground cardamom, and salt and beat well, 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder and stir at lowest speed until just combined. The mixture will almost look like brownie batter; it is rather liquidy.
3. Stir in the shredded zucchini and dark chocolate chips by hand.
4. Pour the batter into a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.