As a psychiatrist I'm used to prescribe antidepressants. Dark chocolate is my recommended mood enhancer number one.
It also provides protection from the dangers of starvation, a fact my mother recognized early (Dark Chocolate with Orange Bits), and then shared with me (Dark Chocolate with Hazelnuts).
And every physician and every mother knows: veggies are good for you! Therefore, Hanaâ's
ABC pick of the month, Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread, had to be healthy and wholesome. DOUBLE chocolate!!! Vitamin C and fibers!
|Shredded zucchini - the secret to very moist muffins|
Instead of baking one large coffee cake, I prefer, like several other Avid Bakers, smaller, individual portions, and, since we are only two, halved the recipe to make six square muffins.
Though I usually reduce the amount of sweetener, I'm cautious when a recipe contains cocoa, and only rounded honey and sugar a bit down. Following some reviewers' advice, I cut down on the salt.
The (optional) espresso powder is, in my opinion, a must, since coffee deepens chocolate flavor (and vice versa!) And I substituted a quarter of the white flour with whole wheat pastry flour.
While watching the baking muffins, I was a bit anxious about all that juice bubbling out on top. The recipe didn't mention draining the shredded zucchini, or patting it dry, and I wasn't quite sure whether enough liquid would evaporate.
But after 30 minutes baking time, the needle drew only a smear of molten chocolate from the tested muffin, and the top was nice and springy when gently pressed.
|The muffins taste best when still a bit warm, and the chocolate melted|
The muffins were very moist, thanks to their veggie add-in, and had a deep, rich chocolate flavor. They could still have been a little less sweet in my opinion, but Richard, the best of all husbands, proclaimed them to be "just right".
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS (adapted from King Arthur Flour)
2 large eggs
100 g/3.5 oz honey
99 g/3.5 oz vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
90 g/3.18 oz brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder
28 g/1 oz Dutch-process cocoa
150 g/5.3 oz all-purpose flour
52 g/1.83 oz whole wheat pastry flour
340 g/12 oz shredded, unpeeled zucchini (about 2 medium-small zucchini)
170 g/6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
|Mixing dry into wet ingredients|
In large bowl, beat eggs, honey, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
In second bowl, whisk together salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso, cocoa, and flours, until well combined. Add dry to wet ingredients and mix, until just combined.
|Folding zucchini and chocolate chips into the batter|
Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared cups of muffin pan (up to 3/4).
|Filling the muffin cups|
Bake muffins for 20-30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean (save for smear of melted chocolate chips).
Let muffins cool for 10 to 15 minutes in the pan, before turning them out onto wire rack.
|Fresh out of the oven|
The muffins taste best when still a bit warm, and the chocolate melted. Pairing them with vanilla ice cream definitely enhances their antidepressant properties (psychiatrist recommended!)
Keep them at room temperature. If you can't eat the muffins within 2 days, freeze them.
If you would like to join us ABC bakers, check out Hanaâ's Avid Baker's Challenge. We bake one sweet or savory bread or pastry every month (this year from King Arthur Flour website.)