These muffins are a perfect collision of two activities. First, I was cleaning up leaves in our yard and I found some hidden zucchinis, just lurking in the garden, surreptitiously growing into giants. After harvesting and eating a bunch of zucchinis this summer, and then harvesting, storing, and throwing away a few more (oops), I had been ignoring my plants for the past few months, thinking that they were done producing and I was done eating. Yeah, I guess I was wrong on both accounts. There were actually a couple more zucchini recipes I hadn’t gotten around to trying, so after a break from zucchini, I was glad to have them.
The other thing that played a part in the baking of these muffins was that we started watching The Great British Baking Show (actually The Great British Bake Off, everywhere else). A bunch of friends had been talking up this show, and this weekend’s dark, rainy weather seemed like a perfect time to give it a try. It’s delightful, but it has the unfortunate side effect of making us very hungry for baked goods. Surely we can’t be the only ones with this problem. After we watched the first episode or two on Netflix and discussed how we were both craving cake, I asked Steven what I should bake. He suggested zucchini bread, and that’s when I remembered that I’d been wanting to try making chocolate zucchini bread.
And so here we are. I wasn’t even planning on putting this recipe on the blog, but they turned out so good that I figured I should share in case the universe is sending other people sneaky zucchini. Even if you think you don’t like zucchini, as long as you like chocolate, you’ll like these, because the zucchini is barely noticeable. But you can feel virtuous for eating a serving of vegetables along with your chocolate. That’s a winning combo as far as I’m concerned.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
2 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, or 3/4 tsp instant coffee, optional
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently squeezed to remove liquid
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C) degrees and spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder/instant coffee, cocoa, and flour, mixing until well combined.
Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffins, filling each to the top.
Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F. Then, keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the temperature to 350°F (177°C) and continue to bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (They may need additional time, depending on how wet your zucchini was.) Makes 12 muffins.
To make it in bread form instead, lightly grease a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. Bake the bread for 65 to 75 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack. Cool completely before slicing.