It’s no coincidence that I’ve started up my baking blog again while contemplating a return to academia. School (even just the thought of it) brings out the baker in me. I completed my studies in November 2014, and I thought I was done with uni. But now… I’ve been working on my application for graduate studies at McGill University for the past few weeks. As the deadline approaches, I find myself photographing lots of brownies. Baking: the best kind of productive procrastination.
I first baked these delicious zucchini brownies during the final semester of my undergraduate degree. I was on exchange in Sydney and didn’t have access to fancy baking equipment in my student house, so this no-fuss recipe was ideal. My housemates and I loved them, so I made a mental note to revisit this recipe once I started working on my baking blog again.
Don’t be deterred by the vegetable in the title. I’m not a fan of zucchinis, but they are magic when hidden in baked goods! These brownies are oh so chocolaty, and you would never guess the secret ingredient. The brownie is actually very tender and fluffy, not dense and fudgy. Très moelleux and full of flavour! A delectable fudge icing covers them beautifully.
The recipe calls for 2 cups of zucchini, which amounts to almost 3 zucchinis (really depends on size and weight of the ones at your grocer’s). Instead of shredding the zucchinis, I recommend blending them in the food processor until the vegetables become smooth, like a purée.
Don’t worry about the dry brownie batter. It all comes together once you add the zucchini at the end.
Recipe Source: The Baker Chick
Yields 24 portions
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely shredded zucchini ( I puréed the vegetables in the food processor)
1)Preheat oven to 350F.
2)Butter a 9×13″ baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
3)Whisk the oil, sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl and set aside.
4)Fold the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into the sugar mixture. The batter will be dry.
5)Stir in the zucchini and mix until the batter is well combined.
6)Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a few moist crumbs stick to a cake tester inserted in the middle.
7)Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1)Mix the butter and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl until incorporated.
2)Alternate between stirring in the powdered sugar and pouring in the milk.
3)Stir in the vanilla.
4)Spread the icing onto the brownies.