On Fridays I have classes at uni from 9am - 5pm with no breaks in between. I get very hungry, so this week I decided that I would bring breakfast, lunch, snacks and treats with me. There were a few zucchinis in the fridge that I was going to make chicken and zucchini soup with, but then I decided to make a zucchini slice. Except it became more of a vegetable slice, because I decided to put carrots, potatoes, corn, peas and capsicum in it, and there was too much of a zucchini-to-other-vegetable ratio so I couldn't put it all in. But I had already grated all the zucchini up, and there was a pretty big bowl leftover. So I decided to make zucchini brownies. And I am so glad I did.
The thing about these brownies is, people will naturally feel disinclined to eat them. So when I brought them to classes with me the next day, I didn't tell anyone anything, I just said I'd made brownies. (In fact, when I was baking them, my mom wandered by and asked what the lumpy stuff in my batter was. I had to whisper what it was so that Galvy wouldn't overhear. She seemed impressed by my sneaking healthy things into desserts.)
As an aside, I think I am against healthy food masquerading as sweets. Or sweets pretending to be healthy. I think that everyone should know that treats are treats - that's why they're called treats - and I feel a bit sad when I hear about treats that have things substituted all out of them, and you end up with... I don't know, a stevia/agave nectar/almond milk/rice flour/toffuti concoction, and not an actual treat. I feel that when you have treats, it's a treat, and you can be naughty, for once, as a treat! Sorry for the overuse of the word 'treat'. It's one of my favorite words, I like it more than 'cellar door'. But anyway, I would definitely not call these brownies healthy, because it's a treat, and it's not meant to be.
Moving on! Meanwhile, back at Macquarie University, in the middle of a family law lecture, people were munching on zucchini brownies, commenting on how good they were. And they are really, really good. Trust me, I might even go so far as to say that they are the best brownie I've ever had, because they are so moist and fudgy, I don't know what the zucchini does but it is good. And the walnuts and pecans and the white chocolate melts just make it all the more delicious.
So, please try making these. And don't tell anyone that they have a secret, special ingredient. Until after they've eaten. When I revealed the secret, people mostly pretended that they suspected - "I thought it tasted different, there was something funny about it!" - but five seconds before they were raving completely about it. I never told Galvy, and he is still happily munching away.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies with Walnuts and Pecans
Makes 16 brownies
- 2 cups zucchini, grated
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped roughly
- 1/4 cup pecans, chopped roughly
- 1/2 cup white chocolate melts, chopped roughly
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a brownie or slice pan and dust with cocoa powder.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking soda. Add the zucchini, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir to combine.
- Whisk together the oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients until well incorporated, and then stir in the white chocolate and nuts.
- Pour into your brownie pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a test skewer comes out clean.
- Serve, hot or cold, with or without ice cream. Don't tell anyone it has zucchini with it until after so they can't pretend to not like it.