It seems like during the summer months any one who grows vegetables (or knows someone who does) is overloaded with zucchini and summer squash. I happen to have parents who are very keen gardeners and have planted a few too many zucchini and pattypan squash plants. We were all quite tired of just having them fried with garlic as a side dish so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make zucchini bread!
This was a first time thing for me. I thought that the idea of zucchini in a quick bread sounded kinda gross. But then I started reading a few recipes and realised that it was a bit like a carrot cake, and seeming as carrot is a vegetable and carrot cake is freaking delish then why wouldn’t zucchini bread work?
So anyway, I made the bread and guess what?… zucchini + cinnamon + walnuts + currants = amazing
I also added streusel because…well streusel is tasteh and belongs on this cake, so don’t leave it out!
The recipe suggested topping with powdered sugar so I thought why the heck not and coated that cake with it warm from the oven (although I do advise removing the bread from the tin before doing this, it makes life easier and a lot less messy…this is something I forgot to do in my excitement and meant I had to do some extra sugar sprinkling later)
adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts
1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil (or any other vegetable oil)
1 1/4 cup (11.5 oz) packed light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini (about 3 medium)
1 1/2 (6.9 oz) all purpose flour (I used half A.P and half whole wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom (I used around 1 cardamom pod, ground)
1/2 cup (3 oz) chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (3 oz) currants/ raisins
1 1/2 tbsp (1 oz) butter,cold, cubed
1/4 cup (1.2 oz) all purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar (I used demerara/’sugar in the raw’)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Grease and flour a 21 x 11 x 6 cm loaf tin, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (180 degrees C )
Put all the ingredients for the streusel in a medium bowl.
Make the bread:
Combine the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl and mix until fully combined.
Grate the zucchini and then place in a strainer over the sink and push down on it to remove the excess water. Measure the zucchini and then add to the oil mixture and mix in.
Fold in the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cardamom, mix until there are a few streaks of flour left.
Stir in the walnuts and currants until everything is well combined. Pour the runny mixture into your greased, floured loaf pan.
Place in the oven for 6 minutes while you make the streusel.
Make the streusel:
Using the tips of your fingers rub the butter into the dry ingredients until there are no visible lumps of butter and a mixture is produced which resembles damp sand and clumps together when you press it.
After the bread has been in the oven for about 6 minutes, open the door of the oven and, working quickly, distribute the streusel mixture evenly over the top of the bread. Put back in the oven for 40-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean and dry. Remove from the oven and dust with icing sugar (optional)
Try adding different nuts and dried fruits or even chocolate chips
You can replace the zucchini partially or entirely with grated carrot
Different spices can be used in the streusel or nuts can be added
This is random but I’ve heard that coconut goes well with zucchini so its worth trying some dessicated coconut in the batter/streusel
If not making streusel, the cake can be topped with a cream cheese frosting or a simple lemon glacé icing.