Over the past 3 years or so I have shared 163 recipes on Homegrown Kitchen. The recipes vary greatly – some are family regulars, others are seasonal one-offs, many are gluten-free, and there are quite a few dairy-free recipes from the early days when my son couldn’t tolerate dairy (now he can eat small quantities of low-lactose dairy such as cheese and yogurt). Some of the recipes have been wildly popular with thousands of views each week i.e. The Best Apricot Ice Cream, Gluten-free Sourdough Bread, and Lunchbox Ideas plus Four Seed Crackers. While other recipes only get a small number of views, with only my die-hard readers (I love you guys) showing interest.
All of the recipes I have tested, usually a handful of times, and all of the recipes I am totally excited about at the time of sharing them. However, being a food writer and recipe developer I am constantly testing out new recipes and ingredients. And can therefore forget all about favourite recipes I was making a few months or years ago. So it is always lovely to be reminded of recipes that others are making. I often have people pull me aside at the end of a workshop to tell me their favourite recipes from the blog. Sometimes I even have people stop me in the street to tell me – Nelson can be rather small at times! No, seriously I love hearing what you are cooking and the adaptations made to recipes to suit different dietary requirements.
This Chocolate Zucchini Slice is one such recipe, originally a cookie recipe I shared 3 summers ago. I had completely forgotten about it until a friend reminded me of it recently. However, to save time in dividing and shaping the cookies she simply spreads the mixture thinly in a slice tin, bakes it then slices into squares. Genius, why didn’t I think of that! Waa laa, this has now become my new favourite slice to pop into school lunches with the added bonus it uses up some of the continual supply of zucchini from the garden (including those sneaky marrow that seemingly appear from nowhere).
P.S. Today I was interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon (RadioNZ) and we discussed all things preserving plus I shared several recipes. You can listen HERE.
This slice is chewy and moist and not too sweet. I have used unrefined cane sugar (rapadura) as a sweetener but any sweetener can be used, if using honey reduce to 3 tablespoons as it is sweeter than other sweeteners.
1 medium zucchini, grated (approx. 1 snugly-packed cup)
75g soft butter
1/4 cup unrefined sugar (I used rapadura can sugar)
1 free range egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup rolled oats or ground nuts
1 cup unbleached white flour (or use half wholemeal/ half white flour)
[gluten-free: use 3/4 cup brown rice flour + 1/4 cup tapioca/ corn flour]
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of unrefined salt
50g chopped dark chocolate (I used Hogarths Craft Chocolate Madagascar 70%)
50g chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven 180C. Line a slice tin (approx. 20cm x 25cm) with baking paper.
- Place the grated zucchini into a cheesecloth or clean tea towel and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. This is very important or you will end up with a soggy slice.
- Cream butter and sugar in a bowl or food processor until pale. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and fold through the chopped chocolate and walnuts and grated zucchini. Pour over the butter mixture and use a spatula to combine well.
- Tip into the lined tin and press out evenly into the base. Bake for 20 minuets until golden. Cool on a cake rack then slice into 12 squares. Store in an airtight container and eat within 3-4 days as they won't keep so well with the zucchini.