Triple Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Yield:2 loaves *

Zucchini bread is really just a great excuse to eat cake at any time of day and feel less guilty about it. It often shows up this time of year when people are realizing that the multiple zucchini plants they have in their gardens might have been a mistake as they desperately try to keep up with their harvest. Zucchini bread is definitely a nice alternative to cooked squash.

There seems to be as many recipes for zucchini bread as there are for apple pie and they are all very similar. This one is a combination of a couple of recipes, lightened a bit and turned chocolate to suit our tastes. To paraphrase my friend Jennifer, if dessert isn't chocolate then what's the point? This Triple Chocolate Zucchini Bread is especially satisfying and no-one will know that there is zucchini in it if you don't tell them. For an extra decadent treat, serve the slices with ice cream or Nutella spread.

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups raw, grated zucchini
2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp separated out
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup mini-chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

2. Melt the unsweetened chocolate and set it aside to cool.

3. Combine the mini chocolate chips and 1 tbsp of the flour in a small bowl. The flour will help keep the chips from sinking in the batter when it bakes.

4. In a medium bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk lightly to combine the dry ingredients.

5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light and frothy. Add the chocolate and stir to combine. Mix in the oil, yogurt, sugar and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini.

6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir gently to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips.

7. Prepare two 8x4 bread pans or one 9x5 and two 3x5 pans or some muffin cups with baking spray. Divide the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. *If using 3x5 pans, check for doneness at 30-40 minutes, muffins may take even less time.

8. Cool in the pans on a rack and then remove the bread gently from the pans.

Notes: If you can't find Greek Yogurt, full or low-fat sour cream will probably work just as well.

For plain zucchini bread, increase the cinnamon to 3tsp., omit the melted chocolate, replace the cocoa powder with flour and reduce the sugar to 1 1/2 cups. The chocolate chips are still good in plain aucchini bread, but they may be replaced with chopped nuts if you prefer or left out.