Friday, September 25, 2009

Too Much Zucchini - Cherry Chocolate Zucchini Bread

See those? Those are some VERY large zucchini. Kindly gifted to me by my friend Lesley, from her garden in Roseville. The picture doesn't really do them justice. They're huge, they weigh a ton and I had no idea what to do with them. A challenge! Actually several challenges due to the size.

To be honest, I never really know what to do with zucchini. Sometimes I peel them into ribbons and use them in place of pasta, and of course they're great in lasagna or on the grill, but beyond that, I'm a bit stumped. Except for the obvious of course. Zucchini Bread, made even more delicious by the addition of cherries and chocolate. A nice twist on a classic. I originally planned on making two loaves, but one of my loaf pans seems to have escaped. I split the batter into one loaf pan and 1 muffin pan, thereby giving me 1 loaf and 12 cupcakes (ok-they're basically muffins, but we already know I don't care for those, so therefore, cupcakes).

And dang! Did it feel good to be cooking again! Especially baking. Taking some time off definitely recharge the batteries. It doesn't hurt that my apartment now smells divine! If you have some zucchini lying around, this one's a keeper. Now. I have two giant zucchini left. Anyone have a recipe for me?

A note about the recipe. I found several recipes that called for 1 cup of oil. I used 1/2 cup and substituted 1/2 cup of plain yogurt in the interest of making the recipe healthier. I couldn't be more please with the results. They're light and moist (but not too moist) and they're absolutely delicious. You could even use whole wheat flour instead of white to make it even more health conscious. Just a thought.

Cherry Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 loaves or approximately 24 muffins

3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (any other nut will do)
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour two loaf pans, or two muffin pans. I used one of each.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil, yogurt and sugar, zucchini and vanilla.

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cherries and chocolate.

Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans.

Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake more quickly, about 20 to 25 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment