This quick chocolate zucchini bread is rich and fudgy, including cocoa, chocolate chunks and a chocolate glaze with chopped pistachios. (Gluten-free and dairy-free).
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 on its own is somewhat bland.
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 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.
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.
- There’s usually no 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. Or 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.
- 1 1/4 cups (150 grams) fine almond flour
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-process)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (75 grams) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) canola oil or other neutral vegetable oil
- 2 cups (190 grams) shredded zucchini (about 1 medium or 2 small zucchini)
- 6 ounces (170 grams) dark or semisweet chocolate chunks *
- 2 tablespoons pistachios, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 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 a 3/4 cup of the chocolate chunks and stir again just to combine.
- Scrape into the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour, 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.
- Put the remaining 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.
- 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 31mg Sodium: 304mg Carbohydrates: 27g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 20g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g