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Mini Whole-Wheat Zucchini Cakes with Cinnamon & Dark Chocolate

Lately, in this In Season series, we're taking a look at what I take home from Crooked Sky Farms each week and see what I've done with my CSA share, or part share. This week I'm using zucchini.

One of the things I like to do at the beginning of the week is make a batch of muffins and then have them for grab and go breakfasts or a treat between meals. This recipe sounds like fall to me. These I'm calling mini-cakes since they call for cake flour but they're not cupcakes, really -- no frosting. They really can go either way since they're not completely loaded with sugar and fat but they are studded with smooth semi-sweet chocolate chips, which makes you think dessert.

I first told you about this recipe when I talked about zucchini back in May and shared the recipe for the Best Zucchini Bread Ever.

Ya, everybody thinks they have the best recipe ever but this one might actually be true -- It's a really lovely soft crumb, part whole wheat, bitttersweet chocolate chip, cinnamon spiced zucchini bread that, today, I made in a cupcake pan.

I wish my photo was as nice as the one on the original recipe. Donesn't matter, just take my word, I hope you trust me by now - they're really amazing and a great way to use up some extra zucchini. 

If you happen to have a food processor with a shredding blade, this recipe is done in a flash. Freeze any extra mini cakes that you might not eat in a day or two and pop them on the kitchen counter before you go to bed. You'll wake up to breakfast waiting for you the next day.

And if you have extra shredded zucchini, you can freeze it, defrost it and throw into things like soup. This week, I used my frozen zucchini by making the Cioppino recipe from my first In Season post (which was for Kohlrabi) and used my frozen leftover shredded zucchini instead.

Here's the recipe I linked to in May. I added by comments below the recipe. Enjoy:

Recipe: Whole-Wheat Zucchini Bread with Cinnamon & Dark Chocolate Chunks
SimpleBites.net

I'm including plenty of alternative ingredients in parenthesis, because although the original recipe is the very best it can be, I want you to be able to work with what you have on hand.

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (or all-purpose)
2 teaspoons freshly ground cinnamon (or 1 Tablespoon pre-ground)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil (or peanut)
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup buttermilk (or regular milk with a splash of vinegar)
1 cup organic Turbinado sugar (or brown sugar, firmly packed)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
4 oz dark chocolate, chunked
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a 9×4 inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Line a 6-cup muffin tin with papers OR oil a mini loaf pan.
In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy; beat in eggs, yogurt, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Combine well. Stir in grated zucchini and chopped chocolate.
Fold flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
Spoon batter into 6 muffin cups (or mini loaf pan) and pour the rest into the 9×4 loaf pan. Bake for approximately 50 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Loosen the sides and remove from pan. Cool loaf completely before cutting.

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My cooking notes:

I used my favorite chocolate chips instead of chunking dark chocolate. If you haven't tried Guittard semi-sweet chips, you really should. They are super smooth and rich. I get mine at Safeway.

Also, I checked my batch at 30 minutes and my muffins/cupcakes/mini cakes were done. I head somewhere that Julia Child says that when you smell it, it's done. We'll I've been using that tip for years and it never fails me. Keep tuned in to your smeller...it'll always help you with timing your baked goods.

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