This is one of those sneaky recipes that swaps out a big portion of oil (or butter) for applesauce and half the flour for whole-wheat flour. And really, you can’t tell. Feed this to your friends and family and it’s likely they’ll just taste chocolate and nuts. I actually think the whole wheat flour plays well with the walnuts, adding to the overall flavor instead of bringing it down. Because let’s face it, whole-wheat doesn’t work well with everything. I’ve yet to taste a whole wheat pizza dough or crunchy baguette that can really stand up to its white flour counterpart. Oh well. I am thankful that whole wheat flour works so well in muffins and quick-breads like this recipe. It makes your feel less guilty for eating a slice for breakfast!
Taste: You don’t really taste the zucchini, only chocolate and a bit of nuttiness.
Texture: No one has to know this tender, chocolate-y bread is made with applesauce and half whole-wheat flour!
Ease: Super easy!
Appearance: Who doesn’t love the sight of homemade sweet bread? Note, I did not say “sweetbread.” There’s a difference!!
Pros: Tasty and less guilty.
Cons: While the fiber is amped up and the fat is cut, there is still quite a bit of sugar. Not sure if that could be successfully altered, though, because this bread isn’t very sweet as is.
Would I make this again? Yes.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Yield: 2 loaves, 8 slices each
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole-wheat or whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups grated zucchini (from about 1 medium zucchini)
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray 2 (8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch) loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
Place walnuts in a pie pan and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and chocolate until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Divide batter evenly among prepared baking pans, smoothing the tops.
Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in baking pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before inverting the loaves onto the wire racks to cool completely. Loaves can be stored well-wrapped at room temperature for 1 to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.