We have a weekly social activity at work called “Cake Club”. At Cake Club, one person from the department would bring in a baked treat for the whole team to share. It doesn’t matter if it was made from scratch or purchased from one of the many bake shops near the office – what matters is that the assigned person would bring something for everyone. We take turns and guess what, I’m up on Monday, 07 September.
The last time I was on Cake Club, I took the easy way out. I decided that I’d make everyone work for their baked goodies so, instead of baking brownies at home, I measured out all the dry ingredients, put them all in plastic bags (I made enough for everyone) and on the day itself, handed the plastic bags out and asked everyone to add water, oil, stir and pop in the microwave for 1 minute (or so). Voila … instant chocolate brownie in a mug topped with yummy ice cream. Anyway, I figured I should bake something this time around and found the perfect recipe while trawling through Facebook.
The Chocolate Zucchini Recipe is from Simply Recipes, surprisingly, the same source as the Brownie in a Mug above, and the reason I chose this is because … well, I had almost all of the ingredients sitting around in the cupboard and, judging from the instructions, it didn’t look like I needed to have an advanced degree in culinary arts to pull it off. So, as soon as I got off work, I went to the nearest fruit and vegetable store and bought myself 3 plump-looking zucchinis. Armed with my zucchini, I was ready to bake!
What you need:
- 4 cups grated zucchini (from about a pound and a half of zucchini)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (use natural unsweetened cocoa, NOT Dutch processed)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (12 Tbsp or 1 1/2 sticks), melted
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Then this is what I did …
When I got home I put the recipe up on the desktop computer and proceeded to measure out the ingredients. The original recipe would yield 2 loaves of bread and, since I was only trying this out I decided to just make 1 loaf. I figured, if it turned out okay, then I can use the full recipe and, if it turned out to be a dismal flop then I would not have wasted a lot of our food supply. My math skills were put to the test as I had to half 3/4 cup of butter. Erm … how much would that be again?
So anyway, when all the ingredients were in their own little bowls (I felt like I was on one of those cooking shows), I grated one of the zucchinis I bought and soaked the grated veggies in a bowl of water to re-hydrate these since I wasn’t sure if the zucchinis I bought were succulent enough.
The recipe said I should whisk the cocoa, flour, salt and baking soda (and cinnamon, but I didn’t have any of that) vigorously until everything was incorporated and there weren’t any lumpy bits in the mixture. I was ready to do this but found out that our one and only wire whisk has been relegated to the rubbish bin. GARR! So, as you can see in the image, I had to make do with what was available – a fork!
Then in a separate bowl, I mixed the egg and sugar until it was smooth, then added the coffee granules, melted butter and vanilla extract (4 times half of the above amount). I continued to mix until everything was smooth, and then added the grated zucchini until everything was well incorporated. Afterwards, I added the cocoa mixture to the egg and zucchini mix in three batches. When that was done (recipe said I had to work quickly because once the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients mix, the leavening process would start) I poured the mixture in our one and only loaf pan (another reason why I halved the recipe, I don’t have enough pans!) and popped it in the oven (pre-heated to 175C). Now all I have to do is wait 45 to 50 minutes and then it’ll be done!
After about 48 minutes, I popped the tray out and left the bread on top of the oven, still in the pan, to cool down for a few minutes. Then I removed it from the pan to let it cool down a bit more. The finished bread can be seen in the header image above – and it’s actually quite yummy. I added a handful of chocolate buttons to make it even more chocolate-y – but I may have added too much as
The Snowman The Grizzly Bear (he doesn’t like being called “The Snowman” so he’ll be The Grizzly Bear from now on) said he can’t taste the Zucchini. Maybe I’ll put in more veggies next time.
Recipe from Simply Recipes