Somewhere, between the grey skies, biting winds and rain, spring has slowly crept up on Melbourne. This may just be fantabulous early spring weather that will disappear *snap* like that, but either way, we're making the most of it. There are people out on bikes, riding to work, Fawkner Park has people dotted all over it (yes, I'm addicted to iphone-ography) at lunchtimes lapping up the sunshine . We walk to the markets on the weekends with an empty fridge and empty bags, only to return with bags full of fresh in season produce that we can't wait to put to good use.
There's been lentil & sweet potato soups , spinach frittatas with in season greens and potato and one of these days I'll make another gluten free lemon meringue pie for my man. There are lemons hanging off of trees all over the place right now, all we need to do is walk down the street and select some sample from an overhanging branch or two. Ahhh.. such a sweet reward for something so sour!
Mmmmm... I love the transitions of the seasons. I love the flavours that change. The fashion that changes. The change in the air, in general. The opportunity summer brings with it's beach walks, big hats and floaty dresses. The Pimms parties, the barbeques, oh, how I love the barbeques! However, I'm getting ahead of myself, it's not yet spring and Melbourne, like a hormonal teenager, can snap back again in an instant.
So, we bake some cake. A loaf in fact. In fact the vegetable in this cake is not even in season til October in Australia, but there was an abundance at the market and after reading Tara's post I was seriously craving some of the deliciousness that was calling to me from my screen. So, I adapted the recipe, I had all but the buttermilk on hand, and lets face it, if you're about to bake and eat cake, one cannot complain about having to walk to the shop - it's all a circle you see.....
This delicious gluten free chocolate zucchini loaf is chocolatey, with a delicious light and slightly dry crumb that calls for a little something, something, in my case chocolate marscapone, or cream or warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave (watch the chocolate chunks melt!) and serve with a scoop of ice cream (like how I'm enjoying it right now - 4days old and still good!) best enjoyed picnic style on the grass in the sunshine.
Chocolate Zucchini Loaf
Makes 1 loaf, adapted from Seven Spoons
I've tried this recipe twice, first with a 140g quinoa flour and 60g tapioca (all I had on hand), however it was a little bitter from the quinoa flour, so I tried another flour variation and it tasted much better. I've also tried with half brown sugar and half castor as I like the caramel-like flavour that brown sugar has, I think I prefer this half-half sugar ratio over the straight castor sugar for this exact reason. I omitted the nuts as I find that gluten free loaves such as this can crumble a bit (as this one does - please your a very sharp flat knife) and adding chopped nuts seems to intensify the crumbling. Of course, feel free to do as you please, as I have done with this recipe - after all, we all know what we do or don't like and what's worked for us in the past!
75g rice flour
45g sorghum flour
40g gluten free cornflour
40g quinoa flour
OR substitute the above flours for 200g of your favourite all purpose gluten free flour mix
1/2tsp gluten free baking powder
1/2tsp bi-carb soda
140ml olive or vegetable oil
155g castor sugar
1 cup grated zucchini (approx one medium zucchini - no worries if you've a little more or less)
90g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius and grease and line a loaf tin.
In a large bowl whisk together the gluten free flours, cocoa, gluten free baking powder and bi-carb. Set aside.
In another, smaller, bowl whisk together the oil, buttermilk, egg and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and takes on a slightly lighter colour.
Pour sugar mixture into the flour bowl and stir with a wooden spoon til just combined. Add the zucchini & chocolate and mix until combined.
Pour into lined loaf tin and bake for approximately 50-55minutes. Don't over cook it or you'll have a dry chocolate loaf, it's best a little undercooked as it'll keep better.
Cool in loaf tin. Cut and serve warm with chocolate marscapone cream. Will keep for 4-5days wrapped in gladwrap. Tip: Keep it in the baking paper used when baking as this will retain the moisture.
Chocolate Marscapone Cream
Enough for 2 servings
80g marscapone cheese (approximately 1 overly large dessertspoonful)
1tbslp gluten free icing sugar
Combine in a small bowl and whisk til combined.
Spoon a dollop onto the warm chocolate zucchini loaf and don't forget to lick the bowl!