Sunday, August 28, 2011

coffee ice cream for baked sunday mornings

I was really looking forward to making the grasshopper bars that were scheduled two weeks ago on the Baked Sunday Mornings calendar, but I guess life got in the way, and I just didn't take the time. Although I don't drink, crème de menthe has a special place in my heart, as it's one of my dad's favorite digestif, and reminds me of happy family gatherings. I keep a bottle of the stuff in the cupboard, just for my dad and my brother... It's still very full. They don't visit very often.

In any case, this week's recipe featured another thing I don't drink, coffee. Again, I keep the stuff in the house for guests, and espresso powder is a must if you're going to make recipes from the Baked cookbooks. I like the smell of it, and I enjoy coffee flavored baked goods if it's mixed with chocolate or lots of sugar, but not a flavor I crave on a regular basis. This week, we were to make Coffee Ice Cream.

I had egg yolks left over from all the cake baking I've been doing. 6 of them to be exact. I also had exactly 1 3/4 cups of cream in the fridge, about to expire... It's like it was meant to be! So I made sure the ice cream attachment for my kitchenaid was in the freezer and set out to make the base for the Coffee Ice Cream. The only change I made was using Frangelico instead of Kahlua, because that's what I had on hand, from making that delicious Frangelico caramel sauce a little while back. (Oh how delicious that caramel could have been on this coffee ice cream!)

Although the recipe does call for tempering eggs, I found it to be easier than the Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home recipes that I've been making recently. Calls for less dirty dishes too, and I'm all for that.

I chilled the ice cream base overnight and churned it the next day. Froze it mid morning, and served it that night with birthday cake. It was nice and soft, perfectly scoopable and super creamy. The coffee flavor was very strong, and I couldn't taste the Frangelico in it. Guests that tried it really liked it, and left with a container after the party. Another container made its way to my parents house, and came back empty pretty quickly. I guess it was thoroughly enjoyed there too. I've been sneaking bites here and there from my last container and have to admit that it's pretty good. The texture is gorgeous. I'm kicking myself for not having swirled a ribbon of chocolate fudge sauce though the ice cream before freezing it, but I still have extra yolks in the fridge, so that might just happen sooner than later! Recipe is available here.

Check out the Baked Sunday Mornings facebook page to see what other bakers thought of this ice cream! Next up on the Baked Sunday Mornings baking calendar: Caramel Apple Cake! Yum

Saturday, August 27, 2011

candies and chocolate for the daring bakers

Ever since I joined the Daring Bakers in February, the first of each month is always exciting to me, as we learn what the new challenge will be. On the first day of August, I was at my post in front of the computer refreshing the Daring Bakers forum page every few minutes, just waiting for the new challenge to be announced... And then I saw it... Candylicious.

I thought, ok, I can do this. I've made marshmallows before, and taffy (kinda), and truffles... And then I started reading the challenge post... I got overwhelmed, and fast!

The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two sugar mavens challenged us to make sinfully delicious candies! This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks at offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

So basically, chocolate tempering, all kinds of candies, plus a contest. For this challenge, we needed to make two candies: one chocolate one, and another one of our choice. And to participate in the competition, we had to come up with the most creative and delicious flavours in a chocolate candy. 

To get us started, Lisa and Mandy provided us with many recipes. Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Truffles, Candied Orange & Pistachio Marzipan White Chocolates (Bonbons), Chocolate Bark, Sponge Candy / Honeycomb, Paté de Fruits, Passion Fruit Caramel Filled Chocolates (Bonbons), and Peanut Butter Fudge. Visit the Daring Kitchen for the recipes, and amazing instructions on how to temper chocolate.

How good do these sound! Right away, I knew I was going to make the Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Truffles (yeah, that didn't happen). I've been wanting to try Pâte de Fruits for a while, so I knew I was going to try that one too. The Passion Fruit Caramel Filled Chocolates sounded interesting, so I thought I could get creative and try my hand at chocolate tempering with that one. My daughter and I have been on a rock sugar kick lately, and I had found a recipe to make the pretty lollipops at home, so I thought I'd give that a try too! Pretty ambitious challenge!

I though I'd ease into this with the Pâte de Fruits. I had all the ingredients and tools on hand, so I thought we'd give it a go, and get the kid to help too!

This candy is basically a fruit jelly, and made just like jam, except cooked way longer, set until solid, then cut and rolled in sugar. The original recipe called for straining the strawberry purée, but my blender got the purée pretty smooth, so I skipped that step. I also used defrosted strawberries, instead of fresh.
Strawberry Paté de Fruits
Recipe adapted from  Elizabeth LaBau, Guide Yields 64 small 1-inch squares
3 cups strawberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
2 cups granulated white sugar
2½ tablespoons liquid pectin
granulated white sugar for rolling 
Prepare an 8”x8” pan by lining it with aluminium foil or parchment paper.
Place the strawberries in a blender or food processor and process until very well pureed. Pour them into a medium saucepan along with the 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar. 
Place the pan over medium-high heat, and insert a candy thermometer. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it is hot, around 140°F.
Add the remaining 1.5 cups of sugar and the liquid pectin, and lower the heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture registers 200°F.
At this point, turn the heat to low and hold it at 200°F for 2-3 minutes.
After this, return the heat to medium and bring it up to 225°F. This process will take some time, especially with the heat on medium, so have patience and be diligent in stirring frequently so the bottom doesn't scorch.
Once the fruit paste reaches 225°F/107°C, turn the heat to low and keep it at that temperature for an additional 2-minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and scrape the strawberry pate de fruit mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing it into an even layer.
Allow the pate de fruit mixture to set at room temperature for several hours, until completely cool and firm. Use a sharp knife to cut it into very small squares, and roll the individual pieces in granulated sugar.
The strawberry pate de fruits can be served immediately, or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. If refrigerated, the pieces may need to be re-rolled in granulated sugar before serving.
Although the first few steps went quickly, bringing the fruit/sugar mixture up to a temperature of 225 degrees did take a while. From mixing together the ingredients to pouring the cooked mixture in the pan, it took about an hour. I let it set overnight, and the next morning, I peeled off the parchment, very happy that the candy came off of it pretty well considering I didn't oil the paper as recommended. I cut the candy in small squares, and got my four-year-old to coat the cubes in sugar. She had a blast doing this, but she ended up being disappointed in the candy. It was fun to make, and cool to see that you can actually make jelly candies at home, but they are not something I would go out of my way to make (or eat) again. Although the recipe states that it should be refrigerated and eaten within a week, I kept mine at room temperature in a lidded container for a good three weeks, and they were fine.

While I was still planning out what to make with the chocolate, and what equipment I needed to buy to temper the chocolate, I used my last four cups of sugar making rock candy lollipops. This is basically sugar, dissolved in water, colored and flavored.  A sugar covered lollipop stick is then inserted in the solution and left for a few days until the sugar forms crystals around the stick. 

A very simple recipe, but the prep was time consuming for me. The recipe suggest clothespins to hold the lollipop sticks, but I could only find two. So I taped chopsticks together and inserted my sticks between the two chopsticks so they could be suspended in the sugar solution. I was almost out of sugar, so I had to rummage the cupboards to find the required 4 cups. I ended up using sugar cubes to round out the last cup. 

I was also interested in finding out if the sugar used to initially coat the stick would dictate the size of the crystals, so I covered some of the sticks with fine granulated sugar, and some of them with coarse decorating sugar. Although my experiment was far from scientific, it seems that the size of the sugar grains on the stick had less impact on the finish product than the amount of sugar that was able to adhere to the stick. I guess the sugar had no problem sticking to the "paper" lollipop sticks, so they were the biggest of the bunch. The green candies were also the only ones that weren't flavored (purple was grape flavored, and red was strawberry flavored). So I'm also wondering if the flavoring hindered the growth of sugar crystals? I guess I'll have to make more to find out for sure!
Rock Candy
Recipe adapted from Elizabeth LaBau, Guide
2 cups water
4 cups granulated sugar
1/2-1 tsp flavoring extract or oil (optional)
food coloring (optional)
Wash three glass jars thoroughly with hot water to clean them. Secure 6 wooden sticks to clothespins so they can be balanced in the jars without touching the bottoms and sides. 
Wet your wooden skewer, and roll it in granulated sugar. This base layer will give the sugar crystals something to “grab” when they start forming. Set the skewer aside to dry while you prepare your sugar syrup.
Place the water in a medium-sized pan and bring it to a boil. Begin adding the sugar, one cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until dissolved. Once all the sugar is dissolved in the water, continue boiling the syrup for 10-15 minutes. 
Divide the syrup between the three jars. If you are using colors or flavorings, add them at this point. If you are using an extract, add 1 tsp of extract, but if you are using flavoring oils, only add ½ tsp, and make sure you don’t stand right in front of the pan—the scent can be very strong as it rises in the steam. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring and stir to ensure even, smooth color.
Allow the sugar syrup to cool for approximately 10 minutes, then lower the sugared skewer into the syrup until it hangs about 1 inch from the bottom.
Carefully place your jars in a cool place, away from harsh lights, where it can sit undisturbed. Cover the top loosely with plastic wrap or paper towel.
You should start to see sugar crystals forming within 2-4 hours. If you have seen no change to your skewer after 24 hours, try boiling the sugar syrup again and dissolve another cup of sugar into it, then pour it back into the jar and insert the skewer again. 
Allow the rock candy to grow until it is the size you want. Once it has reached the size you want, remove it and allow it to dry for a few minutes, then enjoy or wrap in plastic wrap to save it for later.
Although this is quite fun to make at home, and see the crystals form, it's not the best use of sugar. There has to be enough syrup in the jars to reach a good portion of the skewer to form the lollipop, and since the skewer can't touch the bottom, the sides or other skewers, I was only able to fit 2 skewers per jar. So 4 cups of sugar created only 6 lollipops and I had lots of sugar syrup leftover, so that's quite a waste. Cool to make once, but easier to buy, for sure!

The one candy I wasn't interested in was the sponge taffy. It's hard, it tastes like baking soda... wasn't appealing to me. But when I was taking to my husband about the challenge, he got really excited about this candy ("it's like a homemade crunchie bar!"), so I figured I could make it for him, since it's not overly complicated. Many Daring Bakers made this early on in the month and posted about it in the forum, so I got to observe how they fared and which recipe they used. I guess there's a recipe out there with gelatine in it that created a candy with finer air bubbles, so I went with that, hoping that it wouldn't be as hard to bite into as I remembered this candy to be from my youth.

Sponge Taffy
recipe adapted from Wilde in the Kitchen
¼ tsp gelatin
1 tsp water
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cups corn syrup
½ cup water
scant 1 tbsp baking soda
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1 tsp water and allow to bloom.
In a medium stock pot with high sides, mix sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup water together. Heat over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Wash down any sugar crystals from the sides with a wet pastry brush. Clip on candy thermometer and heat to 310° F. Do not stir after you have clipped the thermometer on, the sugar will self stir.
Remove from heat and let sit for two minutes, bubbling should subside. Add gelatin and whisk, be careful, the sugar syrup will bubble up. Sift baking soda over syrup and whisk vigorously. Return mixture to the heat and whisk for 30 seconds. The sugar will rise up in the pot, a lot!
Quickly pour into prepared pan, it should come out in a big blob. Do not spread the mixture, just let it settle into the pan. Allow to cool completely (about 2 hours or overnight) before removing from the pan. 
Either break into odd pieces or cut into squares (this is a messy process!). To cut into squares - using a serrated knife, score the candy at 1-inch intervals. Snap the candy apart at the score lines. Then score and break into squares.
To my surprise, it was really, really good. It was crisp, but not hard, and didn't taste of baking soda. I think I was maybe 15 seconds away from burning it, so there's a note of very caramelized sugar, but overall, it was a fine candy. It did make a lot though. I had to take the candy out of the pan I had it in to cool and transfer it to a baking sheet. Good thing I had poured it onto parchement paper.

The chocolate part of the challenge scared me. I had had bad experiences in the past trying to dip truffles in chocolate, and wasn't eager to work with chocolate again. But I thought that learning how to temper chocolate would be a great thing to know how to do, and maybe, just maybe, would make dipping things in chocolate more enjoyable.

Basically, to temper chocolate you have to melt chocolate and bring it to a certain degree on a chocolate thermometer, then cool it down by agitating it or by adding more chocolate to it, then warm it up again to a working temperature so it can be used. Properly tempered chocolate will coat things thinly and evenly, will have a nice snap when you bite into it, will not melt as fast, and will not bloom (get gray spots) when exposed to extreme temperatures. Molded chocolate should be shiny.

I had all kinds of ideas for the chocolate portion of the challenge. I wanted to make filled chocolates, and decorate them, and paint them and I wanted to dip stuff too. Then I actually tried to temper chocolate, and failed. Twice.

Although I failed to temper it properly, I did manage to make milk chocolate peanut butter cups, coat some pieces of the honeycomb toffee and dip plain chips in the remainder of the chocolate.

I tried to temper dark chocolate a few days later, and failed again, while trying to make bonbons with nanaimo bar filling. They came out not as soft as the milk chocolate, but the pieces of honeycomb toffee that I had dipped in that dark chocolate bloomed like crazy. They were not very good looking, but still tasted good.

So I'm blaming my thermometer for that one. I got a new thermometer because I really wanted to succeed at tempering chocolate, but life got in the way of my challenge, and next thing I knew, it was posting day (what a month it's been!). If only I had one more week! I thought about posting late, but decided against it, since even if I had one more week, I doubt I'll have time (or the energy) to try tempering again.

Overall, this challenge was pretty frustrating for me. Getting high quality chocolate, the molds, failing twice at tempering, the mess it made, yeah, August wasn't a good month for me. Plus, I was working with a broken camera lens, so I'm very not impressed with this post... Hopefully next month will be better! (And I'm hoping to get a new lens in the next few days! Yah!)

I'm going back to work in a week, after being on maternity leave for a little over a year. So gone are the days where I get to spend hours planning and executing my challenges. And reading the forums. But I'm sure I'll find the time somehow to keep up with these challenges, as they have been a blast so far! But, please, pretty please September, be gentle on me!

Oh, and my fellow Daring Bakers made incredible candies! Check out their blogs and the slideshow on the Daring Kitchen site!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

a giant butterfly cupcake and a caramel banana cake recipe

We had another party for my daughter's first birthday this week, with my husband's family.

Like her first cake, I stuck to the butterfly motif, and used a giant cupcake pan to make the cake for the kids to enjoy. Inspiration came from here. A friend of mine had unsuccessfully used the cupcake pan before, so I made sure to use a sturdy cake so it would come out of the pan in one piece, and wouldn't collapse under the weight of the frosting. I made the chocolate velvet pound cake from the Sur la Table book The Art and Soul of Baking that I blogged about before here.

The giant cupcake pan doesn't bake the two cakes evenly. The top is always overcooked by the time the bottom is cooked, so I made two batches of the cake, and baked them separately so I could pull the pan out as soon as the cake is done. Having coated the pan with baking spray "with flour" I didn't have any trouble at all taking the cake out of the pan.

I frosted the two cakes separately before assembling the cupcake together. I used frosting that I bought at a cake shop, tinted half of it with gel food color, and piped on the white frosting on top, and pink on the bottom part of the cupcake. I wasn't satisfied with the piping job on top of the cupcake, so I grabbed an offset spatula and smoothed it out while turning the cake plate on a lazy susan.

I still had a few butterflies that I had made out of sugar paper for the first cake, and used another borrowed butterfly punch (merci Isabelle & Francine) to cut out the bigger butterflies out of wafer paper that I finally found at a cake decorating shop.

Now having worked with both sugar paper and wafer paper, I can positively say that wafer paper is much easier to work with, at least for what I was trying to do with it. It's also much cheaper, I bought 10 sheets of it for basically the price of one sheet of sugar paper. Sure, wafer paper doesn't smell as good, or taste as good as sugar paper, but it's not something you want to eat anyways...

For the rest of the guests, those who actually eat cake, and not just the frosting and ice cream, I had made a caramel banana cake that I found to be absolutely delicious. I think most of our guests agreed, since all but one plate came back clean. It's a sweet, sweet cake, so although I had planned on making a caramel buttercream frosting to go with it, after tasting it, I decided to just stack the layers with nothing between them, and frost the whole thing with whipped cream. Although I didn't get a picture of the finished cake, I'm sharing the recipe I found via Amanda of I Am Baker.
Caramel Banana Cake
recipe source: the kitchn
2 9-inch layers
3/4 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1 1/2 cups caramel sauce
Heat oven to 325F. Grease two 9" cake pans.
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy then add the eggs and beat until silky and lightened. Sift the flour with the baking soda and salt. Whisk the milk and mashed bananas in a separate measuring cup and add to the eggs and butter, alternating with the flour. Beat just until smooth.
Pour batter into the prepared pans. Pour half the caramel sauce into each pan, and swirl with a knife. The pans will be quite full. Put in the oven carefully and bake for about 60 minutes, or until the centers are set and a knife comes out clean.
Cool completely before serving.

Although I doubled the recipe to make three 9-inch layers and 12 cakelets in a cupcake pan, I don't recommend it as my mixer had a hard time handling all that batter. The cake is simple enough that it's easy to make the recipe twice instead. 

Next time, I'll take the time to line the pans with parchment paper, as some of the cake stayed behind in the pan. When I turned the cakes out of the pans to cool, I was happy to see a nice caramel-ly layer at the bottom. When I stacked them, it was almost as if I had a filling keeping them together thanks to that almost gooey bottom.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

butterfly birthday cake

It's my baby daughter's first birthday this week, and we're kicking things off with this cake.

Although I've been planning her birthday in my head for a while now, I've been very indecisive, buying things, returning things, settling on a cake, changing my mind, about a million times. I had lots of inspiration, but had a hard time pulling everything together. Finally, I spotted this cake, and my mind was made up. Decoration-wise, at least.

I've never worked with fondant or gum paste or anything like that before, and I'm not sure I'd have the patience to work with these mediums. And although I could have bought the butterfly decorations for relatively little money on etsy, I wanted to make something myself. I went to the craft store looking for wafer paper, after seeing another blogger use it on a beautiful cake, and came upon Wilton sugar paper instead.

Along with the sugar paper, they sold punches, similar to scrapbooking tools, to cut shapes out of the paper. In fact, their entire line is called Punch, Cut, Decorate. I grabbed a sheet of white sugar paper and some luster dust, and figured I could try to use regular scrapbooking dies to cut out the shapes I wanted instead of the expensive Wilton tools. The paper alone was expensive enough.

I couldn't find much information on this product, other than bloggers who had used it at Wilton sponsored workshops. And frankly, the end products I saw on the internet we're not so spectacular. In any case, I borrowed a beautiful butterfly die from a Stamping Up rep, and painstakingly cut out my butterflies. The butterfly pattern was quite intricate and the sugar paper is pretty fragile and soft. I ripped the wings off a few butterflies, but most came out great. I brushed them with luster dust, and set them to dry. They didn't get very firm, but held their shape pretty well after a week of drying, although they were weak where I folded them and had to be handled carefully.

I was debating creating a three-tiered cake like the inspiration picture, but since the cake was only meant to serve 8 people, I settle on a three-layer six inch round cake, with a little smash cake on top for the baby. It was going to be a s'mores cake for a while, then a dulce de leche banana cake, but at the end, I kept it simple, and went for classic fluffy vanilla cake, with a vanilla bean frosting. With a twist. I colored half the batter with pink food coloring gel to create a marble effect, just to spice things up a bit. And I thought pretty pink cake crumbs and creamy white frosting would look adorable smeared all over the baby's face.

Although I found an excellent vanilla cake recipe a while back, I decided to try a new recipe by a blogger who had tried 7 different vanilla cake recipes before calling this one a winner. I wanted to see how it compared to my favorite recipe, and see if the cake would keep its shape better than my recipe. It didn't. But it was moist, and flavorful, and simple enough, so it's still a winner in my book.
Fluffy White and Pink Vanilla Cake
recipe adapted from Sweetapolita
Yield: One 3-layer, 6-inch round cake + small smash cake
6 large egg whites (6 ounces) at room temperature
1 cup whole milk ( 8.5 ounces) at room temperature
2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour (8 ounces), sifted
1 3/4 cups sugar (12 ounces)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (6 ounces), at room temperature and cut into cubes
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and line with parchment, three round 6-inch pans and one small ramekin.
2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds.
4. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 minutes.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.
6. Divide the batter in two bowls. Tint one half of the batter with pink gel food coloring, leaving the other half white. Using a 1/4 cup capacity spring release scoop, drop a scoop of white batter in the middle of each of the pans, followed by a scoop of pink batter directly on top of the white batter, alternating colors until pans are 2/3 full. Pour leftover batter in the ramekin.
7. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not overbake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.
8. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best eaten the same day as baked.
Frost with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting

The frosting on the other hand, not a big fan. Truth be told, I don't like making frosting. I'd rather eat it, and if I'm going to eat it, I'd rather it be cream cheese frosting, or chocolate frosting. It did come out looking gorgeously silky. Not finicky at all to make. It spread on the cake like a charm. But I wasn't a big fan of the flavor or the mouthfeel. But it might just be me.

I added the butterflies on the cake about two hours before guests were to arrive, and they barely made it. The bigger butterflies started separating after the two-hour mark, so lesson learned, the sugar paper decorations go on the cake at the very last moment! I was happy to see that they didn't melt into the icing, but managed to stay upright. I had fun making this, and I'm happy about the results! Now I have a few days to figure out what Rosalie's other birthday cake will be. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

zucchini bread

My parents were at the cottage last week, so I inherited their entire CSA share from Farmer Daizy and Farmer Johnny aka, their neighbors from Luxy Farm. It's really incredible to get fresh-from-the-farm-veggies, especially when we're used to getting so-so (if we're lucky) veggies from the grocery store. I was so excited to get a huge zucchini, among the green beans, garlic, pattypans and carrots. We had a beautiful pasta primavera for dinner that night, but I was saving that zucchini to bake with. Actually, I've been waiting an entire year to make zucchini bread again!

I usually use the classic Betty Crocker recipe to make zucchini bread, but I thought I'd try a recipe with less sugar, less fat and more fiber, so I can eat it for breakfast without feeling too guilty. Off to tastespotting to find yummy looking recipes. I was hesitating bewteen 5 of them when I decided to make this Whole-Wheat Zucchini Bread with Cinnamon, mainly because I could also use up the plain yogurt and the buttermilk that were about to expire in the fridge.

I love how simple quick breads can be. Dry ingredients in one bowl. Wet ingredients in another. Combine the two, bake, and you've got zucchini bread!
Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread with Cinnamon
recipe adapted from simple bites
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil two 8×4 inch loaf pans.
In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy; beat in yogurt, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Combine well. Stir in grated zucchini.
Fold flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Spoon batter into loaf pans. 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. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
My daughter and I cut into that loaf while it was still warm and devoured way too much of it for an afternoon snack. Especially since she didn't want anything to do with it at first. She had two slices. It was really good. You couldn't tell it was made with whole wheat flour. Very moist. Flavorful. Tasted like zucchini bread.

After making the two initial loaves, I still had a bunch of shredded zucchini leftover, so I decided to try another one of the recipes I had originally picked. This blogger described this Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread as "only slightly sweet and not heavy". I baked it in square muffin tins and this recipe gave me 12 Zucchini Bread Squares. I was not a fan of this one. I found the bread too dense, dry and it didn't taste like anything. Oh well. Nothing a little icing couldn't fix!