Chocolate Summer Squash Bread
This recipe grew out of my organic produce bin, or as my friend Maria calls it, the “farm box”. It comes every week, and they keep bringing me these crookneck squashes. Well I haven’t done one thing with these squash in the last three weeks, and clearly things were not looking good for these poor squash.
But the guilt over not using all of the stuff in the farm box will eat you up. I mean everything is from these mom and pop farmers that have slaved over creating this perfect head of butter lettuce or pint of mountain strawberries, or crookneck squash… So here I am. I had to use them! I started thinking about what I do with overly ripe bananas- the kind no one wants to eat in their natural state- banana bread. So, obviously these slightly wilted crooknecks are going to be squash bread!! Then I realized, that while I have a recipe for spiced zucchini bread on the site (see “Parties”, Spring Brunch for 6), I have not had Chocolate zucchini bread, maybe since I was a kid! I made some adaptations to my zucchini bread recipe, and here we go!
The result is actually really good. And this is indeed bread, like, it is not sugary chocolate cake in loaf form. It is nice and moist and gently studded with chocolate chips and walnuts, however I suspect that I could have added more walnuts, and maybe even a cup of dried cherries or chopped dates- but that is a personal preference! As I would recommend with all of my recipes, play around with it!
Chocolate Summer Squash Bread
1 cup vegetable oil
2 ¼ cups white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 ¾ cups AP flour, ¼ cup reserved in a small bowl
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 ½ cups grated summer squash (I used yellow crook necks)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray two loaf pans with baking spray.
Toast the walnuts at 350 for 8 minutes.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring it often.
Mix the chocolate chips with the ¼ cup reserved flour, tossing and coating the chips with the flour. (This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf).
In a standing mixer add the oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix until well combined, and then add the eggs, one at a time.
Add the melted chocolate to the rest of the wet ingredients and mix until everything is well combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
Add the squash, chocolate chips (and reserved flour) and toasted walnuts and gently mix them all into the batter.
When everything is combined (and at best, the batter looks like bean dip studded with cheddar cheese!) divide the batter between the two prepared pans.
Bake the bread at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.