A couple of weeks ago my farmer-librarian friend Jean said something about chocolate chips in zucchini bread. I was stopped in my tracks. Literally. Never, in all my days, had this occured to me. I know, I know, it's very common. There's even a blog about this combination. A very famous one. That I read regularly. I just took it as two separate things.
Like a revelation, this idea percolated. Stirred in my brain. I've never made zucchini bread before personally, something about a gazillion zucchinis out of the garden when we were kids. I od'd to last me 2o years. But chocolate in zucchini bread . . .
But now we're in August, and the Eat Local Challenge is on. In my personal exemptions, I exempted everything already in my house. This does not include chocolate chips. It does, however, include a pretty full little box of Ibarra, the Mexican chocolate flavored with cinnamon and weirdly crystally in this way that I love.
After some more percolation, and a few glances at Martha's plain jane zucchini bread recipe to get an idea about baking soda and whatnot (although I am a very intuitive cook, the baking intuition is lagging behind.), we came to this:
- Totally delicious! I am brilliant!
- I amped up the zucchini to rest of stuff ratio. It's zucchini bread, after all! Most recipes seemed way too light on actual zucchini.
- The amount of cayenne was right for me and B, not spicey, just . . . warm. That's the only way I can describe the sensation and it was right on. If you don't like your sweets warm, cut back to 1 1/2 tsp, but give it a go. It's good.
- Perhaps a little more cinnamon.
3 tablets Ibarra chocolate, chopped into chunks with a big knife
(about 9 oz, if you are going to substitute)
1 cup ground almonds
6 cups shredded zucchini
(about 2 1/2 lbs whole. man, I love my food processor.)
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 cups flour
4 tsp cinnamon (I'd up it to two tablespoons)
2 tsp cayenne powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tbl vanilla extract
1 tbl almond extract
Preheat oven to 400F, mix dry ingredients together, mix wet ones together, blend wet and dry. Divide into four greased bread loaf pans, bake about an hour. Let cool ten minutes or so in pans, then tilt out onto cooling racks for the rest.
Makes four loaves: one to eat right away (very good warm), one to share, two to freeze until zucchini is a distant memory. Yum yum.
Eat Local: eggs from Kelly Brooke farm (5 miles), organic zucchini from New Roots Farm in Stratham (8 miles) paid for in sweat equity, organic butter from Woodstock farms (94 miles), honey from Hampton Falls Apiaries (10 miles). The rest, alas, is from the far-flung nether regions - it was all in the pantry.