“Who are you when you’re alone? When no one is watching? What’s left then? – Rae Mariz
Happy Monday, dear readers. I was awoken this morning to the pitter-patter of a light drizzle and the feel of a slight gust-y breeze, reminding me that yes, the seasons may be in the process of changing – but winter is still in force.
I haven’t been very good at sleeping in of late. Most mornings, I’ve risen early to greet the first of the sun and begin my habitual routine – tip-toing around, cleaning last nights remaining mess, brewing up a big pot of coffee and doing a little breakfast scheming.
Last weekend, I rose an hour or two early to start my breakfast scheming early because I knew I was in the mood to do some baking. There really is no better euphoric feeling that beats waking to the smell (then taste) of a comforting baked treat.
So, just in the time for the long week ahead, I would like to present you with this incredibly delicious and forgiving recipe.
Though it is perfect for any time of day, Dark Chocolate and Walnut Zucchini Bread makes rising early just that little bit more bearable. Each bite truly is a good reason to be out of bed, even early on a Monday. It has a rich flavour and perfectly moist texture. And is the ideal quick bread recipe, easily thrown together yet incredibly luxurious and tasty.
The flavours of this Dark Chocolate and Walnut Zucchini Bread may be simple, but the experience is certainly not. I adapted the recipe from the Seven Spoons cookbook & the result is truly delicious. The original recipe was quite large so I halved it and made a few personal preference filled changes to the ingredients list and ratios.
A deep cocoa powder tinted batter is studded with generous chunks of chopped bittersweet dark chocolate. Make no mistake though; this bread is not too sweet. The zucchini truly is the main star. The addition makes for an un-usually moist and textural taste which pairs beautifully with the crunch of buttery, toasted walnuts. Finally, a little zip of buttermilk and hint of vanilla mixed into the batter unites all the ingredients perfectly.
Dark Chocolate and Walnut Zucchini Bread is heart-y, fulfilling and incredibly nourishing – ideal for breakfast, afternoon tea or dessert. It is so tasty that it doesn’t even need any glazing or a dusting of icing sugar to serve, but if you feel like gilding the lily, dollop on some cold crème fraiche for a heightened experience.
- 2 ½ packed cups grated zucchini
- ¾ cup all-purpose (plain) flour
- ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
- ¼ cup dutch processed cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
- 1 ¼ cup chopped bittersweet dark chocolate, at least 70%
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- ¾ packed cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pre-heat an oven to 350 F (175 C).
- Grease and line a 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch (21 by 10 cm) loaf pan and set it aside. Let the parchment paper over-hang the sides.
- Place the grated zucchini on a baking tray lined with a lint-free kitchen towel then place another kitchen towel on top, patting it down gently to absorb any additional moisture. Set aside until needed.
- In a large bowl, use a fork to whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. Stir in the chopped walnuts and 1 cup of the dark chocolate.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the butter and buttermilk. Add in the egg, light brown sugar and vanilla then whisk the liquid ingredients until smooth and uniform. Gently fold in the zucchini.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan then sprinkle the top of the batter with the remaining ¼ cup of chopped dark chocolate.
- Bake, rotating at least once half way through baking, until a skewer inserted into the bread comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Let cool in the loaf pan for 15 to 20 minutes before inverting out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.