A Crack in Time
For years now, a group of friends have been gathering weekly to break bread, raise a glass, share laughter, and watch Doctor Who. Everyone once in a while, we'll miss a week, but it's very rare. Even if there aren't new episodes available, we watch something else or, more often, spend the night commiserating and having a grand time. Who Night is usually a highlight in my week. So you can imagine how empty things felt when we recently missed not one, but an entire month of gatherings because I needed to be traveling to help my mom recover from surgery. In the midst of that, I did some baking one day and this is what resulted:
Now, if you're confused about what this has to do with Who Night, you might not be alone. However, a major plot line in a recent season of Doctor Who revolved around the cracks in the universe and the deep, beautiful crack in this bread reminded me a bit of that. I know, a stretch, but I was feeling sentimental and baking always broadens such emotions for me. Besides, I was experiencing my own crack in time, given my regular routine had been turned on its head. Besides, do you think you'd complain if, instead of a crack in the universe, you were met with a crack filled with rich, melty chocolate:
I didn't think so. Now, what keeps this bread super moist isn't the chocolate at all, but the amazing shredded zucchini. I love using items like shredded carrots, zucchini, and apple in baked items and being able to enjoy moist, delicious slices as part of breakfast, alongside tea in the afternoon, or even as a super simple dessert. I've been known to top a slice with a little dollop of ice cream and dig in.
Now, of course, Who Night is back and going strong. We're gathering together on Sunday evenings and enjoying everything from autumn-inspired tacos to festive cheese-tasting parties. And, if you're wondering, yes — more than a few of the things you see showing up on this site made their entrance on the dinner table on Sunday night … Who Night!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup baking cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and baking powder; gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips. Transfer to a large loaf pan coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- Yields: 1 loaf (about 12 servings)
- Preparation Time: 90 minutes