A go-to loaf from a stand-up veggie

Zucchini season has nearly come and gone with nary a peep from me on the subject. After a lifetime of indifference, I've developed quite a love affair with this sun-seeking squash in the past few years. In fact, I can't imagine a dish of roasted vegetables without it. But surely a baker, even a casual one, wouldn't bypass the kitchen for the grill and neglect to introduce her zucchini to the rest of the appliances. Mixer, anyone?

As all good people know, chocolate is a worthwhile addition to most everything. So to christen my shiny new loaf pan and show zucchini what my kitchen can do, I whipped up some simple but tasty Marbled Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

Fresh from the oven, you're rewarded with a crunchy crust and steaming moist crumb. Overnight, the loaf gives up its crusty exterior and the ingredients let loose and mingle. It's only then that you'll catch the spicy chocolate flavour you probably missed in your greedy haste the night before.

Tell me though, would you really expect anything less than a go-to loaf from a stand-up veggie like zucchini?

Marbled Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely grated zucchini (green skin and all, undrained)
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease or line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, oil sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in grated zucchini.

In another medium bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix well.

Use a kitchen scale (if you have one) or your eyeballs (I know you have those) to divide the flour mixture evenly between two bowls. To one bowl, add 2 tablespoons flour; to the other, 2 tablespoons cocoa.

Now, using the same process, divide the wet ingredients in half between the two bowls of dry ingredients. Stir each bowl until smooth. You should have one chocolate cake batter and one plain cake batter.

Drop batter by the spoonful into the prepared pan, alternating between chocolate and plain until both are gone. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Note: If scales and dishes aren't for you, opt for a chocolate zucchini loaf minus the marbling. Simply add 1/4 cup of cocoa to the dry ingredient mixture and then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Try adding chocolate chips to boost the chocolate flavour even more.

Source: Adapted from this recipe posted on RecipeZaar.