Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top Chef Challenge: Zucchini Coconut Bread

A few other bloggers and I are joining in with the contestants on reality cooking show "Top Chef - Just Desserts"  to make a dish that meets the challenge presented each week on the show. Last week, the challenge was to make a dessert based on a cocktail. Despite not drinking alcohol, watching the show, or being an accomplished baker, I gave it a whirl. I got my apples drunk and spiced up some panna cotta.

This week, the challenge was to create a "Glee" worthy bake sale goodie. Bake sale items should be easy to transport, since people are buying them to take home. Since they are being eaten by families, I think that they should strike a balance between tasty and healthy.

I am just arriving at the end of my summer vegetable harvests and have been turning my zucchini into baked goods all month. This last week, I was playing around with altering the World's Best Coconut Bread into Darn Good Zucchini-Coconut Bread. My son gobbles it up, and it freezes very well. Although it still has plenty of sugar, the addition of whole wheat flour, and the reduction of oil, make it a decent breakfast or snack for the wee ones. Did I mention that it is darn good too?

for baby: zucchini coconut muffins (minus the walnuts)

Zucchini Coconut Bread
Makes 2 standard loaves

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3/4 cups oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the grated zucchini in a colander and allow the excess water to drain.
Meanwhile, beat the sugar and eggs on high speed with an electric mixer, to incorporate air, until doubled in volume. This takes about two minutes. Add the oil and coconut extract and beat until well incorporated.

Mix the dry ingredients together, and add to the wet ingredients in thirds, alternating with buttermilk, and ending with the dry ingredients. Add the shredded coconut, the zucchini, and chopped nuts, and blend until smooth.
waiting for his muffins to be done

Prepare metal bread pans with butter or non-stick spray. Bake for 1 hour, or until the tester comes out clean.

loaves, ready for their glaze

To glaze the bread, melt two tablespoons of butter. Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of hot water. Add a dash of coconut extract. Whisk until smooth. Using a pastry brush, brush the glaze over the hot bread, after baking.

* I found the coconut flavor at PCC


Ginger said...


Rosey said...

These look yummy! I love the photo of the little one eagerly anticipating the treats.

What is pcc?

Annie said...

Those would make great gifts. Too bad I don't like coconut but the combination is interesting. I love zucchini bread.

Kathy M said...

I can smell the bread baking in my oven now. Thanks for the recipe!

Lara said...

Yes, it makes a great gift!

Rosey - PCC is the local organic co-op chain here in Seattle.