(free recipe) Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread
August 21, 2012
Last summer when my garden produced too much zucchini (there's always too much zucchini, isn't there?), I made a few batches ofchocolate zucchini whoopie pies. This year, I craved that chocolate-zucchini flavor but didn't want to make dessert. So I converted the whoopie pie cake recipe into a quick bread.
At first, I simply reduced the amount of brown sugar from one cup to three-quarters of a cup. This worked and made a cake-like quick bread that wasn't too sweet.
With the sweetness reduced, the mild, almost-nutty flavor of the brown rice flour was more pronounced. I wanted more of that earthy-grainy flavor. For the next batch, sorghum flour replaced sweet rice flour and I added some ground flax meal. Now we were getting somewhere!
While still a sweet quick bread, the addition of another whole grain flour along with the ground flax meal transformed the loaf from something you'd only serve for dessert to something you could enjoy anytime of the day.
The ground flaxmeal, my favorite egg-replacement, inspired me to try a vegan/allergy-friendly (no gluten, no eggs, no dairy) version of the bread. The vegan loaf, made with flax meal, oil, and dairy-free milk, turned out to be my tasters favorite. The declared it "really tasty" and "rich but not heavy." And I agreed with them. This multi-grain loaf not only tasted terrific, it avoided the too-damp texture that affects many egg-free baked goods. After all those tweaks, I finally had a loaf that could be enjoyed anytime and, thanks to the allergy-friendly ingredients, by almost anyone.
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
6 tablespoons hot water
1 cup (about 5 ounces) brown rice flour
3/4 cup (about 5 ounces) brown sugar
2/3 cup (about 2.5 ounces) sorghum flour
1/3 cup (2 ounces) cornstarch or potato starch
1/4 cup (.75 ounces) cocoa powder, natural or dutch-process
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup gluten-free, dairy-free milk (almond, soy, or rice milk)
1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated zucchini
makes one 9- by 5-inch loaf, about 12 servings
about 1 1/2 hours
9- by 5-inch loaf pan
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. In small bowl, whisk together ground flax seed and water. Set aside.
In large bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, dark brown sugar, sorghum flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and xanthan gum. Add ground flax seed mixture, oil, and dairy-free milk. Whisk to combine. Batter will be thick. Switch to a rubber spatula, and stir in grated zucchini. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
Bake until loaf is set and a cake tester comes out clean, about 70 minutes. Allow loaf to cool in pan for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.