I was speaking to my father the other day about a new recipe I wanted to make with a special ingredient, the enchanting orange blossom water. I soon found that just the mere mention of oranges threw him into a pit of laughter as he recalled the “good old days.” See, my father has lived in the same house since he was 15 years old, and over the course of 50 years he has seen a great deal of change in his city. He spoke of how the orange groves used to go on for acres and acres around this town, and shared some stories from his younger years (mostly the mischievous ones), like when he and his friends used to throw oranges at cars passing by just to pass the time (don’t worry, they crushed the oranges first!). His face lit up reminiscing about his past times, and we had a great afternoon of laughter together.
Well, after this conversation I went home to experiment, and decided to make an orange blossom zucchini bread. It ended up being delicious, while not being too greasy at all (I really don’t enjoy breads that leave grease on your hands, they make me feel guilty). I love the combination of the fragrant orange blossom water with the zucchini, and the burst of chocolate chips completes the bread in a beautiful way. I also added a light cream cheese glaze that gives this bread a little extra depth of flavor. This bread is incredibly easy to make, and is a great way to use up that summer zucchini.
For this recipe I used a new brand of unrefined sugar called Zulka. I have been using it recently and I am hooked. This is a family run company that provides an excellent product, plus their sugar is vegan which means they don’t use bone char for refinement, yay! So if you need some sugar I highly suggest you head over to their website and give them a try.
This was my first time using orange blossom water, so let me pass along this little nuggets of wisdom and say that a little goes a long way. This blossom water is wonderfully fragrant, and would surely be an excellent addition to many recipes. Enjoy!
ORANGE BLOSSOM ZUCHINNI BREAD
1 1/2 cups Unbleached White Flour
1/2 Cup Evaporated Cane Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Table Salt
1/4 Cup Plain Yogurt
1/4 Cup Grape Seed Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 1/2 Teaspoon Orange Blossom Water
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Freshly Grated Zucchini
Zest of 1 Large Orange
Equipment: 9” Loaf pan, parchment paper, medium bowl, small bowl,whisk, grater, spatula or spoon, zester.
Pre-heat oven to 350F°
Line a 9 X 5” loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper, lay the paper across the width of the pan, letting a bit hang over.
Sift together all of your dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside
In a bowl whisk together yogurt, grape seed oil, vanilla, orange blossom water, eggs, and sugar until smooth. Then add in the salt, zucchini, orange zest, and chocolate chips.
Add wet mixture to your dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Once the dry ingredients are just mixed in, fill the loaf pan with the mixture.
Place in the oven on the middle rack for about 50-55 minutes
Once cooled, glaze with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle a bit of orange zest over the top.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
6 oz Cream Cheese
3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoon Fresh Orange Juice
A pinch of Table Salt
A bit of orange zest if desired
Equipment: Standing or handheld mixer, sifter
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat cream cheese until softened.
Sift in the powdered sugar, and then add in the remaining ingredients and beat until fully combined. Set frosting aside until ready to use.