summer is coming to an end and i am so sad. we actually haven’t had much of a summer in toronto, i think i can only remember a handful of really hot, perfect days. there is still one thing to be happy about, though – summer produce is still plentiful. this is the best time to grocery shop and eat, everything i could possibly want is in season. plump, ripe berries, crisp green lettuce, fresh figs and stone fruits (the prettiest of foods), tomatoes, and summer squash and their blossoms.
my boss is growing zucchinis like crazy, so she brought a couple of them into the office. of course, i had to take the one that was literally the size of an infant. i think it must have weighed at least 4 pounds. i did a couple of squats at my desk (this zucchini was so useful already!), and lugged it out for a glass of wine after work. i might have embarrassed the girls from work by sitting it in the extra chair – i couldn’t help myself, it was the size of a baby!
i had a million things that i had planned on making with it – but very little time. i ended up mostly using it to make zucchini noodles for dinner almost every night for a week. sautéed with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic it was an amazing quick, healthy dinner. i used about a quarter of this gem to make this dark chocolate zucchini cake, and it turned out wonderfully. it was so moist and crumby i had a piece every morning with my smoothie. having cake for breakfast is totally acceptable when there’s a vegetable in it. (and even if there isn’t, who am i kidding).
i used this recipe directly from food & wine just with the addition of a little cinnamon. it turned out beautifully.
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread
*makes 1 9×5 loaf pan or two 7″ round pans
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 large eggs1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 medium zucchini (about 7 ounces), finely shredded
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mini bittersweet chocolate chips (or coarsely chopped dark chocolate squares)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat whichever pans you are using in vegetable oil, and sprinkle some flour on the inside and shake/tap until it is all coated evenly (this is just an extra precaution to avoid sticking – i especially like this trick when using dark pans since they brown the bottom more quickly).
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cardamom. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar, oil, zucchini and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir gently with a spatula until the flour is just incorporated. Stir in the sour cream followed by the chocolate chips.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is browned and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. If the loaf browns too quickly during baking, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.