Moist Chocolate & Zucchini Loaf
One of the first food blogs I ever discovered was Chocolate & Zucchini by my lovely Parisian mate Clotilde. I’m still a huge fan and I just love the idea of combining two seemingly opposite ingredients to make a cake that ticks all the right boxes.
makes: 1 loaf
takes: about 60 minutes
150g (5oz) unsalted butter
200g (7oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids or higher)
300g (10oz) zucchini, grated
250g (9oz) almond meal
1/4 teaspoon pure stevia powder*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) fan assisted. Line a loaf pan 24cm x 12cm (approx 9in x 5in) with baking paper.
2. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. Stand to allow the chocolate to melt.
3. Meanwhile, grate zucchini using your food processor or a box grater. When the chocolate has melted add the butter-chocolate mixture to the grated zucchini. Add the eggs, almond meal, stevia and baking powder. Mix with a spoon until just combined.
4. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the loaf feels springy when you touch it. And a skewer inserted into the middle come out without any gooey cake stuck to it.
5. Cool in the pan then slice and serve (preferably with lashings of double cream).
*important note about stevia! – there are 4 types of stevia:
1. Pure Stevia Powder – looks like icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar. It’s expensive but a tiny amount goes a long long way. We’re talking 1/2 teaspoon to sweeten a whole cake. This is what I use.
2. Granular Stevia (like Natvia or Truvia) – looks like regular white sugar. It’s a blend of erythritol and stevia. Usually 1/4 teaspoon = 4-6 tablespoons granular stevia.
3. Fresh or Dried Stevia Leaves – from a real stevia plant! I haven’t baked with them but they will behave similar to the pure stevia powder. Just add to taste.
4. Liquid stevia. I haven’t used this. But add to taste.
granular stevia – replace pure powder with 4-6 tablespoons granular stevia.
no stevia – use your favourite sweetener… Honey, maple syrup, xylitol or white sugar! Just add and taste until you’re happy with the sweetness level.
sugar lovers – use 100g (3.5oz) sugar instead of the stevia. If you like things on the sweeter side, add more.
dairy-free – coconut oil.
nut-free – replace almond meal with ground sunflower seeds. Don’t use ground flax (linseeds) or chia as they will completely change the texture. You could try regular or chickpea flour – expect the baking time to be much less for flour.
different veg – carrot or parsnip can also be used. For a red velvet cake, replace zucchini with mashed roast beetroot or cooked sweet potato. All these veg will add more carbs than the zucchini.
no fan assist on your oven? – increase the set temp to 200C (400F). Check after 35 minutes just to be sure.
Shelf Life / Storage
This cake is lovely when first baked but also great straight from the fridge. The texture changes when chilled but I like both ways. Can be kept for 1-2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps for months in the freezer.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
butter – will keep in the fridge for weeks.
dark chocolate / almond meal / pure stevia powder / baking powder – keep them in the pantry.
zucchini – will keep for 2 weeks or longer in a plastic bag in the fridge. To keep it even longer, cook sliced zucchini in a little butter until just soft then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
eggs – will keep in the fridge for weeks or use for another meal.