I went on a quest for a courgette cake recipe after admiring Stephanie’s Chocolate Courgette Cake over at Riverside Baking (which you can read about here). Via the power of Google and Pinterest, I found a multitude of lovely sounding recipes, bringing in ingredients such as fruit (orange, raisins and sultanas were popular), nuts (notably hazelnuts) and other vegetables (often carrots). After much contemplation, I went for a combination: sultanas and Brazil nuts, complemented by a dash of cinnamon.
Taking on the advice of Stephanie (who mentioned that lime worked really well in her cake) and Nigella (where lime is a central tenet of her courgette cake in How to Be A Domestic Goddess), I opted to try out a lime icing. This complemented the cake really well, with the sharp taste of the lime nicely cutting through it.
Putting the cake together was pretty simple (as the details below show). Again taking Stephanie’s advice, I ensured that I wrung a lot of the moisture out of the grated courgette. Paranoid about the high moisture content of the courgette versus the olive oil, I had a huge fear they would split in the cake tin (thankfully, my fears were unfounded).
I won’t lie, pre-tasting my first mouthful I was a little apprehensive, but again, my fear was unfounded. The cake was blooming lovely, really moist and full of flavour. I absolutely recommend trying out courgettes in baking and I will definitely be baking something akin to this again.
Ingredients (makes 14 slices)
150g plain flour
150g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g chopped Brazil nuts
250g grated courgette
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
125ml olive oil
For the icing:
Zest and juice of one lime
150g icing sugarA little water
1. Wring out the excess moisture from grated courgette using whatever means you find works the best (I used kitchen roll and my hands).
2. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan/gas mark 4) and line your baking tin with parchment (I used an oblong cake tin 31 x 17 x 3.5cm, but you could easily make it in circular or loaf dimensions – just keep an eye on it and alter the baking time appropriately).
3. Sift together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a large mixing bowl.
4. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, olive oil and vanilla extract, then slowly beat into the dry ingredients (3).
5. Fold in the sultanas, Brazil nuts and grated courgette until combined.
6. Pour into the baking tin and level.
7. Bake for approximately 25 minutes (or until it is golden, coming away from the edge of the tin and springy to the touch).
8. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. To create the icing, beat together the lime zest, icing sugar and lime juice then add tiny amounts of water until you get the desired consistency.
10. Drizzle over the icing as you see fit (I used the back of a spoon to shimmy it all over).