The recipe I'm gonna give you guys today may illicit a few 'eughs' or 'what?'s from you upon first reading, BUT; fear not. This courgette cake really, really is a lot better than it sounds. If you like carrot cake, this is definitely one to try. Or if, like me, your dad has a glut of courgettes in the garden and you're fed up of making pasta dishes, I would also try this out.
The recipe is one from of my all time favourite baking books, the Hummingbird Bakery 'Cake Days'. I have this book as well as the original Hummingbird book and everything I have ever made from them has been sublime. The next time I am in London I am going to make a pilgrimage to one of their bakeries, following them on twitter is enough to illicit longing. If you like baking, easy recipes and fun things to do with ingredients (Courgette cake? Come on guys) then I would highly recommend picking either of the books up.
You will need three 8-inch loose bottomed sandwich tins, and these ingredients -
|No, this isn't mine, sadly.|
- 3 large eggs
- 300ml sunflower oil
- 300g soft light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
- 300g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 300g peeled and grated courgettes
- 100g roughly chopped walnuts, plus extra to decorate
And for the icing (I only made two thirds, as the books always seem to make far too much, but here are the original measurements)
- 240g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 750g icing sugar
- 75g plain Greek Yoghurt
Now, I just want to state, as a disclaimer, that the cake will not taste like courgettes. So if you aren't a big fan of the vegetable, don't let that put you off. In many ways it is like a carrot cake; they are added to give moisture and with the tangy greek yoghurt icing this makes for a nice change from the ordinary.
- Preheat your oven to 170C, Gas mark 3, then line the bases of your baking tins with baking parchment.
- The book recommends using a hand held electric whisk, and for this recipe I would have to agree. As much as I like to stir using a good old fashioned wooden spoon, there are a lot of ingredients and you don't want to have a big lump of courgette somewhere in the finished article. So, using your mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla essence.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarb with the ground spices. Then, running your mixer on a low speed, add this to the egg mixture in two batches, beating well after each addition until everything is mixed through evenly. Then, add the courgettes and walnuts to the batter, and mix them in until distributed.
- Divide the batter between your three tins, and bake for around 35-40 mins, until the top is golden brown and springy to the touch. I would check them after half an hour. If you can't fit them all in the same level of the oven, bake two first then the next one after, but remember that your oven will be hotter and so the last one may take a shorter time to bake.
- Once they are done, let the cakes cool in the tins for around 5 mins, before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the icing; mix together the butter, cinnamon and icing sugar with your (cleaned) electric whisk. Mix until the butter is fully incorporated and the mixture looks sandy. Then, add the yoghurt on a low speed until the ingredients are combined, and then increase the speed and whisk until the icing is light and fluffy in texture.
- Once your layers are cooled, ice them by spreading each top with icing, and then icing the whole thing. I have to admit while I make good cakes I am an appalling icer, so I can't really advise you on the best way to do it. Using a palette knife is best though.
- Then, decorate as you like. Unlike the pristine cake in the book (I like to imagine it took a few attempts before it looked that good) I textured my icing by flicking it with the tip of a fork, then covered the whole thing in chopped walnuts and dusted with cinnamon, mainly to cover any dodgy patches.
Mum has just asked me to make another cake today, so I will probably be posting another baked recipe soon. It seems as if I can't escape baked goods... when I'm not serving scones to OAPs I am making cake for my family... Oh well, there are worse things to be overexposed to.
Hopefully I will get a chance to do exciting things this weekend in Glasgow, there are a few things on the cards, so you will all have a fix of the city life I am craving. For now though, give this a shot and I promise you will not be disappointed.