I started making zucchini dishes in 1982 when my husband, 12-year-old daughter and I were living in Blue Jay, Ohio, on the Indiana border. We had two acres which my husband had filled with every kind of plant, tree and bush that would produce something edible – barely leaving room for a small house in the center. He loved to grow zucchini because he was rewarded with basket after basket of them and as a novice country dweller, I tried to make use of every single piece of fruit or vegetable he brought in the house.
By 1987, I had tried a lot of zucchini recipes and was looking for something different to take to our Hamilton County Fair (Cincinnati). I decided to take a favorite recipe from the Bear Wallow Zucchini cookbook and change it from a spicy zucchini bread to a chocolate one. The bread not only won the blue ribbon at the fair, but also won the Best of Show rosette. It’s a delicious zucchini treat.
BEST OF SHOW CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup cocoa
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1-¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups grated zucchini (unpeeled)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour loaf pans of your choice
In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs; add cocoa and whisk until smooth. Whisk in oil, sugar and vanilla.
Stir in zucchini.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, soda and salt. Stir into zucchini mixture. Stir in walnuts.
Pour into greased/floured pans, filling about 3/4 full, and bake @ 350 degrees F.
Loaves are done when a tester inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean
- Two 9×5 loaves – bake for approximately one hour
- Two 7-1/2×3-¾ loaves and one 5×2-1/2 mini-loaf – bake for approximately 50 minutes (check mini-loaf at 35 minutes).
- Six 5×2-1/2 mini-loaves and one 7-1/2×3-¾ loaf for approximately 50 minutes (check mini-loaves at 35 minutes).
Allow bread to cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to cool completely on a rack.
This is one quick bread that could easily be a dessert. It’s rich, chocolatey, moist and full of crunchy nuts. But the most important thing to me in 1987 was that it used 2 cups of zucchini.
My picture was taken for the fair’s publication, “The 132nd Annual Hamilton County Fair Salutes its 1987 Best of Show Winners”. (I had won Best of Show with three different items that year.)