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This quick gluten-free dairy-free chocolate zucchini bread is rich and fudgy, with cocoa, chocolate chunks and a chocolate glaze covered with chopped pistachios.
I wish I could explain the magic:
When you mix grated zucchini into a batter loaded with chocolate, cocoa and other basic ingredients you get this ooey, gooey chocolate zucchini bread, a treat that looks and tastes like the rich chocolate cake of your dreams.
The zucchini seems to vanish into the crumbs, and each moist slice is studded with pockets of melted chocolate chunks.
Zucchini in quick bread and cake
How does that work? For one thing, it has to do with the astonishingly high water content of zucchini (something like 95 percent), and the fact that zucchini tastes somewhat bland on its own.
Certain other kinds of produce have a similar effect in baking — think carrots and bananas.
If you happen to have any little vegetable phobes around your house — shhhh. No need to mention what’s in there!
Healthy chocolate zucchini bread
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that indulging in sweetened baked goods is healthy, per se, and it’s not really why you should make this loaf.
But there is a nutritional aspect to the recipe, which happens to be high in fiber from the zucchini, as well as dairy-free and gluten-free.
Chocolate zucchini bread is just sweet enough, without tasting like an over-the-top rich dessert.
And the layer of melted chocolate and crunchy pistachios on top contributes just a little something special.
Some of my favorite sweets fall into the category of damp, sludgy and fudgy (or maybe I just have a thing for those descriptions), for instance, this flourless chocolate pear cake.
Tips for making chocolate zucchini bread:
- The easiest way to grate zucchini is with an old-fashioned box grater. Trim the ends and use the coarsest holes. You can also use a food processor.
- You don’t need to squeeze the zucchini after grating, but if excess water pools around yours, drain it off and lightly pat with a towel.
- Make the bread ahead of time — it keeps well at room temperature up to 3 days, covered. To store longer, freeze the unglazed loaf up to 1 month and drizzle with the melted chocolate and pistachios when ready to eat.
- To test for doneness: After 55 minutes, press the top center of the loaf with your finger. It should spring back lightly, and a toothpick inserted into the cake should emerge with some melted chocolate and no gooey batter.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread (Gluten-Free)
- 1 ¼ cups (150 g) fine almond flour
- ½ cup (50 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-process)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup (60 ml) canola oil or other neutral vegetable oil
- 2 cups (190 g) shredded zucchini , about 1 medium or 2 small zucchini
- ¾ cup (90 g) dark or semisweet chocolate , broken into chunks
- ¼ cup (30 g) dark or semisweet chocolate , broken into chunks
- 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios
- Preheat oven to 350 (180C )degrees. Lightly oil an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Cut a piece of baking parchment to fit inside, with long edges overhanging by 2 or 3 inches and lightly coat the paper with oil, too.
- Sift the flour and cocoa into a medium bowl to remove any lumps (a mesh strainer does this job perfectly). Whisk in the baking soda and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar, maple syrup and oil until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir to blend. Add the zucchini and chocolate chunks and stir again just to combine.
- Scrape into the prepared pan. Bake 60-70 minutes or until the top feels springy and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan 15 minutes. Gently lift the bread out of the pan using the parchment as handles (you might want to use a dull knife along the edges of the pan first to release it). Cool on a rack until completely cool.
To top the bread
- Put the ¼ cup chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30-second intervals until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Drizzle the warm chocolate over the bread and sprinkle with pistachios.
- Allow the chocolate to set 15 minutes or so, then slice and serve. The bread keeps at room temperature up to 3 days, covered.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- This bread freezes well for about a month – wrap the unglazed cake in plastic and place in a ziptop freezer bag (squeeze out the air). Defrost and glaze the cake before serving.
- I like to use good-quality chocolate bars chopped into chunks because they usually have a higher cocoa butter content and are not as sweet as chocolate chips. They also tend to melt better and leave larger chocolaty pockets in the baked bread.