I had a long day. Cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Phew! I was tired by the time I cooked dinner. But I had all the energy to bake something. I had no agenda. I put together something with the ingredients I had in hand. Well, I had two zucchinis sitting in the refrigerator. I try to incorporate this vegetable in my cooking now and then. Even in the bakes.
The husband dislikes zucchini. He thinks it’s flavorless. So,I think of all possible ways to make it flavorful. Chocolate was the way to go. I’d to disguise this veggie in a loaf of quick bread. I was in a ‘healthy’ baking mode. I used whole wheat, no dairy and no eggs. Good one. Ain’t it?
Zucchini a.k.a Courgette belongs to the squash family. It is low-cal and low-fat. And it’s abundant in summer. A cup chopped zucchini is just 20 calories. Mostly sugar, but very little compared to a cupcake. How I wish a cupcake has 20 cals.
This recipe goes like this. You can substitute with the substitutions given. But, I cannot guarantee the outcome. Read the notes below for the substitutions. This loaf translates easily to a vegan bake if you use ingredients suitable for vegans. All ingredients used were vegan friendly.
Makes one 8 x 4″ loaf or 2 small loaves or 6 standard muffins. Read notes below for various substituitions
- 1 1/4 cup Whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup Cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup Organic cane sugar
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon *optional
- 1 cup Zucchini, grated and drained
- 1 cup Pear sauce or apple sauce
- 1/4 cup Almond milk
- 1/4 cup Organic EVOO
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- Grease the loaf pan and line with parchment paper. If making muffins, place 6 liners in a muffin pan. If using a 12 cavity muffin pan, fill the empty cavities with an inch water for equal distribution of heat. Pre heat oven at 350 °F.
- Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Whisk all the wet ingredients. Stir till uniformly mixed.
- Add flour mix to the wet mix in 3 batches and stir till the dry ingredients disappear. DO NOT OVER MIX. That’s the key to getting light bakes.
- Pour batter into the loaf pan or muffin pan. Bake for 60 mins or till the tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clear. For muffins, bake for 20-25 mins.
* Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – Pastry flour is ground from soft wheat which contains more carbohydrates and less gluten/ protein. The whole wheat berry (germ and bran) is ground, yet does not impart a tannic flavor like whole wheat. One can substitute with whole wheat flour or white whole wheat or atta, but the outcome will be dense and chewy. If using atta, add 2 tbsp corn flour/ corn starch to one cup measure, fill the rest of the cup with atta. Fill 1 tsp corn flour/starch to a 1/4 cup measure. Fill the rest with atta. This makes the flour less dense and light. Sift the flour at least 3 times so that the corn flour is mixed well.
* I used Valrhona cocoa powder. Use whatever suits you. Remember, good cocoa produces good chocolate bakes.
* I always use organic sugar. Been off white/refined sugar for more than a decade now. Use any sugar as you wish. This recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar. We like our bread mildly sweetened. If you want a sweet bread, add in an extra 1/4 cup sugar.
* Zucchini has to be drained off extra liquid. It lends moisture to the bread, and also can make the batter runny. Do not squeeze all the liquid. Let it drain in a colander for an hr. Zucchini can be substituted with grated beets or carrots or yellow squash or turnips. These vegetables have similar texture. Trust me, the veggies just disappear in the bread. You can hardly taste anything ‘vegetable’.
* Pear sauce can be substituted with same amount of pureed banana or pureed avocado or unsweetened apple sauce or 1/2 cup pureed silken tofu.
* Almond milk can be substituted with any nut milk or soy milk or dairy milk (any percentage)
* EVOO can be substituted with oil of choice. Though chocolate masks unpleasant flavors, I’d not use strong flavored oil like sesame oil for this recipe. Best substitution will be coconut oil or melted (not hot) butter will do the job. I do not use hydrogenated fat, so do not ask me about shortening/dalda/crisco/spectrum etc.
Lastly, have all the ingredients at room temperature. Pour the batter into the pan right after mixing. Do not leave it out for long.
I used a 8 x 4″ loaf pan which can hold 4 cups of batter. This recipe fills half the pan. So the loaf does not have much height. You can see in the picture. The slice isn’t big enough for the toaster.
The loaf rises well, moist and characteristically dense, but not chewy. It’s very chocolatey with no signs of veggie n fruit. Enjoy a slice toasted and smeared with seville orange marmalade or whipped n sweetened cream cheese tastes decadent for breakfast or tea time.