I saw it lurking under a giant leaf a few days earlier. I knew it was a big one, but how big, I really had no idea. I made plans to take care of it later in the afternoon. But I forgot (for three more days). By the time I remembered it was there, it was already a foot long–thick and shaped like a club.
There is not much to do with a zucchini that big, but turn it into a delicious baked good. Since I recently conquered plain, gluten-free zucchini bread, I wanted to try something richer…more like dessert. Basically I wanted to conceal that whopper of a squash in chocolate…with more chocolate. And then I’d call it breakfast. Don’t judge.
A King Arthur Flour recipe had gotten stellar reviews so I decided to try to convert it to be gluten-free. It was a happy success, and another way to use up the ever prolific zucchini. My kids each gobbled down two slices before my son noticed an errant green fleck on his plate.
Wait! Is this zucchini bread?? (He HATES zucchini).
My daughter, on the other hand, knew exactly what she was getting into and also loved every bite.
This dark, rich loaf was a hit with the whole family and is a fantastic way to use up all that summer zucchini. The addition of espresso powder isn't necessary, but it really enhances the flavor of the chocolate (without making it taste like coffee). I like to use almond flour or coconut flour in addition to my gluten-free flour blend, because it's more nutritious and less starchy than flour on its own.
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (gluten-free)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend already contains it)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but delicious
- 1/3 cup baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa (I used Hershey's)
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
- 1/3 cup almond flour or coconut flour
- 2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini
- 1 cup chocolate chips or chocolate chunks (gluten-free)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x4 inch loaf pan with gluten-free cooking spray or vegetable oil.
- Put eggs, honey, oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract into a large bowl and mix until combined. Add the salt, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, gluten-free flour blend, and almond flour and beat until smooth.
- Gently squeeze the zucchini in paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Fluff zucchini with a fork, then fold into the batter. Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks until evenly combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes if you're using a dark pan, and a bit longer for a glass pan. Check loaf by inserting a toothpick into the center, it should come out clean (unless you hit a melted chocolate chip).
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling completely (if you can wait that long).