On Saturday February 4th, I participated in the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s Totally Fabulous Vegan Bakeoff with my gluten-free chocolate zucchini loaf. Check out my recipe below!
The event took place at 918 Bathurst Street — a cool community centre with lots of space for events, classes and whatnot. The last time I was in the main theatre space, I was auditioning for Woody Harrelson for a comedy he wrote and directed last year at Hart House Theatre. 918 Bathurst, while being a great space for auditions, was a little small for the amount of people who came out for this year’s bake-off. The turnout was amazing! Apparently the line went all the way down Bathurst and almost hit Bloor St.
I entered the competition in the gluten-free chocolate category. I didn’t win, but I’m pretty sure I came in second. However, it wasn’t about winning or losing (says the loser), it was about the experience! So many vegans, vegetarians, and non-veggies came out to sample the many fabulous treats. Local celeb vegan chef Doug McNish judged best in show and even Canadian TV and radio gem George Strombolopolous made an appearance. Apparently, Strombo is trying out the vegan lifestyle and I have to say, he looks great!
Many thanks to my parents for helping me plate my chocolate zucchini loaf and for transporting the samples and display to the venue. Also, a shout-out to my sister Sasha Arfin for making an incredibly beautiful sign for my loaf! (See below for sign and recipe!)
Check out this mini highlight video by Richard Arfin!
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons guar gum
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- egg replacer — equivalent to 2 eggs worth
- 1/2 cup organic canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 3 cups grated unpeeled zucchini
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350° F / 176° C
Lightly grease or oil two 8-inch loaf pans OR two 12-cup muffin tins
Place flour, guar gum, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Use a wire whisk to combine.
In a large bowl, place oil, sugars, egg replacer and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Stir in applesauce and shredded zucchini. Stir flour mixture into batter until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Divide batter between prepared loaf or muffin pans and bake for 50 minutes for loaves or 25–30 minutes for muffins or until a toothpick inserted in the center of loaf or muffin comes out clean.
Allow to cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out.
Yields about 24 muffins or 8–10 slices per loaf