Naturally I would rather not eat zucchini, but if I must, my preferred method of consumption involves an indecent amount of chocolate. This recipe is so chocolate-forward that it’s almost embarrassing to try and sell it as a zucchini loaf instead of just admitting that you made cake and threw in a gross-o vegetable at the last minute. It’s like trying to argue that ketchup is a vegetable when we’re all privy to the fact that really it’s just a vessel for sugar that happens to contain tomatoes.
Technically this is adapted from a cake recipe, but I actually prefer it as a loaf (more edges, easier to justify as a breakfast food versus the CAKE that it blatantly is). These loaves will definitely be a bit denser and flatter than a traditional loaf (the original recipe makes a perfectly square, flat cake) but the taste is unfalteringly fudgy and the glaze puts everything obscenely over the top.
Chocolate Zucchini Loaf w/ Chocolate Glaze
Adapted slightly from Ken Haedrich (The Harvest Baker)
Makes 2 loaves
Nonstick spray (or soft butter), for the loaf pans
3 cups grated zucchini (for me this was 2 smaller zucchini)
¾ tsp salt + more for zucchini
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, measured correctly
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 2/3 cups white sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup neutral oil (e.g. canola)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ tsp vanilla
½ cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
8 oz (~1 very heaped cup) semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Thoroughly spray/grease 2 loaf pans and line lengthwise and widthwise with parchment paper, leaving at least a 1-inch overhang on all sides; set aside. Place the grated zucchini in a colander set in the sink (or over a large bowl if your sink is a perpetual disaster zone) and salt lightly. Toss gently and let drain for 30 minutes or so. Don't worry, all that salt won't end up in your loaf - it just helps draw out some of the moisture from the zucchini.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt over a medium bowl. Whisk to combine thoroughly. In a large bowl, using either electric beaters or a standmixer, beat together the sugar, butter, oil, eggs, and vanilla on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add in 1/2 of the sour cream and beat until combined. Continue alternating flour mixture and sour cream like this until both are finished (you should end with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture). If the batter gets too thick to beat (it may not), use a wooden spoon to finish incorporating the ingredients. Gently squeeze out the zucchini (but not to the point where it’s totally dry – leave some moisture). Stir the zucchini into the batter then evenly divide the batter among the 2 loaf pans, smoothing out the tops. Bake the loaves for 50-70 minutes (it honestly depends on how evenly you filled the pans and how hot your oven runs!) Start testing for doneness with a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaves (make sure it comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it, or dry) at the 50 minute mark or so. Transfer the pans to a cooling rack and let cool for ~30 minutes before lifting the loaves out to finish cooling directly on the rack.
While the cake cools, make the glaze. Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and have a small plate handy that can easily cover the bowl completely. Heat the cream in a small saucepan set over medium. Let the cream get hot, but don’t let it bubble at all (you’ll see it just starting to quiver as if it’s going to – it’ll be very very hot but not boiling yet). Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips, cover the bowl with the plate, and let sit for 5 minutes. Take off the “lid” and stir very well and vey quickly until the 2 ingredients are totally combined and the glaze is glossy and smooth. Pour the warm glaze over the loaves and let it drip down the edges in a most pleasing way. Slice into thick wedges and laugh over the death of those dastardly zucchinis.