>> Sunday, September 5, 2010
I haven't been so excited about a loaf in a long time. Until today.
Chocolate and zuchinni.
They're like that unlikely couple you knew from school. When you first found out they were going out, you thought 'Are they nuts?'
But once you saw them together, you began to think, 'Hang on there, they are actually kinda cute together...'
In the relationship, the zuchinni would be the one working 'behind the scenes'. It keeps the cake super moist so that you don't need to add much (or any) butter and it is content in not receiving any attention and being overpowered by the rich and sexy chocolate.
I've wanted to give this combo a try for some time now, and recently when I read about it from Asha in her lovely blog, I was sold! I loved how she described the zuchinni as being 'altruistic'. I adore that word. I first saw that word inside the lower lip of a friend. He had it tattooed there. A great and traumatic way to remember vocabularies.
Can I also tell you something? I was sure this cake would fail. I didn't follow a recipe in particular and mucked around with the ingredients. You see, I wanted to make it healthier. If my next job doesn't work out, I may have a chance of becoming a nutritionist.
So there I was, whisking together some grated zuchinni, chocolate pieces, spelt flour, extra virgin olive oil and greek style yoghurt. Very worried. Doesn't seem...appetising?
In the oven it went and I had a flashing vision of the baked good down my rubbish chute. Timer beeps.
Sliced into the loaf. Seems like your everyday chocolate loaf. Just not exactly great looking.
A quick bite. Tastes like your everyday chocolate loaf...but so much more moist and soft.
It's lovely stuff.
- 120 grams (1 cup) spelt flour (or alternatively, use all purpose flour)
- 30 grams (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 50 grams light brown sugar
- 60 grams (1/4 cup) virgin olive oil (or unsalted butter at room temp)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1 large egg
- 60 grams Greek style yoghurt (or any other plain yoghurt)
- 175 grams (1 cup) unpeeled grated zucchini
- 80grams (1/2 cup) good-quality bittersweet chocolate chips
- A few tbsp skim milk (optional)
- Confectioner's sugar (optional)
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer (or by hand in a large mixing bowl), beat the sugar and oil (or butter) until fluffy. Add the vanilla, coffee, yoghurt and egg, mixing well between each addition.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, chocolate chips, and about a third of the flour mixture, making sure the zucchini strands are well coated and not clumping too much.
4. Add the rest of the flour mixture into the egg batter. Mix until just combined; the batter will be thick.
5. Fold the zucchini mixture into the batter, and blend with a spatula without overmixing. Pour into the cake/loaf pan, and level the surface. (I added around 2 tablspoons of skim milk here because the batter seems too heavy).
6. Bake for 45- 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer onto a rack to cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the pan to loosen, and unclasp the sides of the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.