My oh my…how time does fly! It’s been over a month since the last installment of Zukezilla, and in the meantime I’ve managed to bypass apple season and part of pumpkin season. Thankfully, fresh zucchini is available year–round (at least here in Los Angeles), so this final recipe that I was able to make from that giant zucchini over the summer will be doable any time of year.
I might even go as far as to say that this recipe would be a nice dessert touch to any of your upcoming holiday menus. Why? Because when I added zucchini to this famous banana bread recipe from Flour Bakery + Cafe, it really transformed it texturally into something that resembles a combination of sticky toffee pudding and custard. Or so I thought at the time. You see, I’ve since discovered as I’m writing up this post that I followed a recipe (which I printed out from a food blog) that somehow had one of the main ingredients listed with the wrong amount. And guess what…it was the flour. Nothing important, right?!
Having never made the recipe before, I thought the zucchini I added was the reason it was so moist and almost crumbless. Talk about naïve! In fact, if you look at my photo of the sliced bread, it looks more like a meat loaf! It all makes sense to me, now. I remember thinking at the time that 2/3 cup of flour didn’t seem like enough. But, it was indeed printed right there, with nary a complaint listed in the comment section, so I figured it had to be correct. I now know that sometime during the download–recipe–process, I lost one whole cup of flour! Not sure exactly how it happened, but since I’ve rechecked the blog I took the recipe from and other blogs’ posted recipes, my copy was the only one with one cup less of flour. I guess the mystery will never be solved.
Since I’m not one who likes to waste my efforts (or food, for that matter), I took that sad looking loaf and promptly tried to dress it up with some herb flowers and confectioner’s sugar. I actually was pleased with the photo results, but wasn’t very optimistic about how it might taste. Well, lo and behold and shut the door, it actually tasted good! But then, when doesn’t anything banana with sweetened cream—frozen or otherwise—make you feel all cozy inside? I find most banana desserts beg to be eaten warm and topped with either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream—it certainly didn’t hurt in this case!
So my major ingredient reduction inadvertently created a dessert that I could totally see being served during any one of the upcoming holidays, especially since figgy pudding season is fast approaching. I’m not exactly sure what the zucchini added to this bread in terms of flavor (if any), but the fiber and nutrient value certainly benefited. I’ll have to try making this banana bread straight–up next time (with the correct amount of flour!) so I can decide if the recipe deserves all the hype. In the meantime, the recipe listed below has all the right amounts, along with my substitutions and changes for the more pudding–like result. Maybe someday I’ll get around to creating my original vision of zucchini–banana bread.
This concludes my epic summer zucchini recipe adventure. Time to move on to pumpkins before Thanksgiving hits me between the eyes! Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to try out any of the apple recipes I’ve been feverishly pinning to my apple board, but I’ve got nearly twice as many recipes on my pumpkin board
to give a whirl. Stay tuned next week for a pumpkin recipe collaboration I had with my wikiKITCHEN spawn (who, thankfully, has been too busy at her paying job to make posts on her own blog lately!).
WI wine recommendation: Remember the basic rule of pairing wine with desserts is to choose wine that has a slightly sweeter character than the dessert. This dessert is sweet (especially if you add whipped cream or ice cream as a topping), but not sickeningly–sweet. So wines that we could suggest in this case would be Prosecco, Moscato or sweeter rose wines.
(adapted from Chef Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston)
1–2/3 cups all–purpose flour (I used only 2/3 cup by mistake)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oil (I used melted coconut oil)
3–1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
1 heaping cup grated zucchini (my addition—not in original recipe)
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream (I used plain Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (I used pecans)
Set oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, grated zucchini, crème fraîche, and vanilla.
Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Cool briefly in pan, then turn out onto cooling rack to complete process.
Optional: Serve warmed slices of the pudding–like version (using less flour, like I did by mistake) with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.