In keeping with the overall theme of the blog, there are healthy elements woven into this cake to help my readers eat smarter. Most notably, it is free of gluten and refined white flour. Also, there is a vegetable skulking about, but one commonly used in baking - zucchini.
And finally, the sugar content is intentionally low, but can be adjusted to taste. I want to really highlight this point, because people are often disappointed when they try a recipe only to find that the level of sweetness is not what they expected. Traditionally, zucchini breads (or cakes) contain a minimum of 1-2 cups of sugar. This version is semi-sweet, with only 3/4 of a cup of coconut sugar (or brown if you prefer), allowing the chocolate flavor to dominate. That said, for those with an extra sugary sweet tooth, I recommend increasing the sugar to one-and-one-half cups. The semi-sweet chocolate chips can also be swapped out for milk chocolate.
Scharffen Berger natural unsweetened cocoa powder lends a rich chocolate note to this dessert. It can be found in the baking aisle of many major grocery chains, as well as on Amazon. Other cocoa powders can certainly be used in its place, but keep in mind that the acidity and flavor of the cocoa chosen will greatly affect the flavor of the cake.
Now for the most important element - to frost or not to frost? I am probably in the minority here, as I have never liked frosting all that much. As an alternative, cherry preserves or coconut ice cream are both nice accompaniments. A bit of cream cheese or a dusting of powdered sugar also work well.
As for me, I like mine plain served alongside a large cappuccino.
1 cup buttermilk or 1 tablespoon lemon juice stirred into 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 large eggs
2 cups zucchini, shredded and lightly squeezed of excess liquid
1 & 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour
3/4 cup gluten free almond meal/flour
3/4 cup coconut or brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup Scharffen Berger natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, eggs and zucchini. Set aside. Sift the dry ingredients into a separate mixing bowl and gently fold in the chocolate chips. Using a rubber spatula, stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until a batter forms.
Pour the batter into a non-stick or lightly greased standard loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes if using a metal or dark non-stick pan, 45-50 minutes if using glass, or until a toothpick comes out semi-clean. Remove from the oven, allowing to cool for 15 minutes before releasing from the pan. Place on a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.
Wrap well and store at room temperature in moderate to cool climates. Refrigerate in hotter climates.
Yield: 8 slices