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Chocolate-Nut Zucchini Bread

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Serves eight.

  • by Maryellen Driscoll from Fine Cooking
    Issue 106

Got more zucchini than you know what to do with? Turn them into this sweet, tender quick bread. If you’re working with large zucchini, cut them in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds before weighing. Macerating the grated zucchini—tossing it with sugar and letting it sit—helps draw out excess moisture to avoid the soggy, dense texture that often plagues zucchini bread.

Watch the video series Homegrown/Homemade: Squash to see Fine Cooking's Sarah Breckenridge make this recipe.

  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more for the pan
  • 9-1/2 oz. (2 cups plus 2 Tbs.) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pan
  • 3/4 lb. zucchini (about 3 small), stem ends trimmed
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup strongly brewed coffee, cold or at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt or buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 oz. finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (2 oz.)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch metal loaf pan and dust with flour; tap out any excess.

Using the large grating disk on a food processor, pass the zucchini vertically through the feed tube to grate. (If the zucchini is too wide to fit, slice in half lengthwise.) Discard any remaining ungrated portions wedged on top of the disk. Transfer the grated zucchini to a colander or sieve set over a bowl. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the sugar over the grated zucchini and toss to distribute. Sprinkle another 1 Tbs. sugar over the zucchini and toss again. Set aside for 20 minutes.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Pour the butter into a medium bowl and let cool slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, coffee, yogurt or buttermilk, and eggs into the butter.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, chocolate, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Squeeze the zucchini by the fistful to thoroughly wring out excess liquid. Add the zucchini to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Pour over the flour mixture and, using a large wooden spoon, stir until just blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and release the bread, turning it upright onto the rack until completely cooled.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Excellent zucchini bread made just as the recipe is written--moist with just a hint of chocolate. Will definitely make again!

Made this tonight after having tried the finecooking pumpkin loaf with olive oil instead of butter. I used 6 tablespoons of regular flavor olive oil and 2 tablespoons of blood orange flavored olive oil. I omitted the nuts because of allergies. It was fantastic! Now I have 2 great zucchini bread recipes!

Made this tonight after having tried the finecooking pumpkin loaf with olive oil instead of butter. I used 6 tablespoons of regular flavor olive oil and 2 tablespoons of blood orange flavored olive oil. I omitted the nuts because of allergies. It was fantastic! Now I have 2 great zucchini bread recipes!

I have a standard, fantastic zucchini bread recipe from Sunset from 30 years ago. I thought I would make both recipes as a "test kitchen" type of activity for myself.(Because I had loads of zucchini) I still prefer my old one with maple flavoring in it and sesame seeds on top. With this recipe, I could not taste the coffee and it could use more chocolate chips!!! Still, it is very good.

Easy to make and absolutely delicious!

This is now my "go to" zucchini bread recipe. I make the recipe as is, and it has come out great each time. It's the perfect way to use up that zucchini overtaking a garden and and you don't feel guilty serving it to your kids for breakfast because it's not overly sweet and it has a vegetable in it!

Less sweet than the usual zucchini bread/loaf recipe, this one was enjoyed by all members of my family, especially my three year old. I made some minor substitutions in order to use what I had available in my pantry, i.e. semi-sweet chocolate chips, demerara sugar for part of the regular sugar, cake and pastry flour for a third of the all purpose, and pecans instead of walnuts, to no detriment.

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