I recently signed up for a fruit and vegetable box again, having had one a few years ago. I gave up last time because I was permanently trying to finish using up vegetables that I didn’t really like. I love the idea of eating seasonally and locally: I just don’t always like what’s been chosen for me that happens to be seasonal and local… As this time I am able to switch out things on a weekly basis I’m hoping to avoid the same problem through greater choice each week. My friend Sara sent me this recipe ages ago and I have been saving it for courgette season. So there was no way I was switching these out even though my kids now refuse to eat them as vegetables: I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them and I knew they wouldn’t refuse to eat this cake.
The original recipe is by Martha Collison, a local teenager who did brilliantly on last year’s TV baking competition, The Great British Bake Off. I have made a couple of minor changes, otherwise this recipe is all hers and it’s delicious. We are in the middle of a heatwave here in the UK and although it’s hardly perfect baking weather, I really enjoyed making this. The colours and the flavours are so fresh and vibrant: it’s the perfect cake to eat outside in the shade.
250g courgettes (2 – 3 courgettes)
125ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
225g SR flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
Zest and juice of a lime (half for the cake, half for the icing)
450g icing sugar
125g cream cheese
Pistachios to decorate (about 30g)
Set the oven to 180ºC and grease a bundt tin very thoroughly.
Coarsely grate the courgettes with the skin still on.
Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat until well incorporated.
Stir in the grated courgettes along with half the lime zest and half the lime juice.
Sieve in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and fold in carefully.
Pour or spoon the mixture carefully into the prepared tin.
Bake for around 30-35 minutes, until the cake is well risen, golden and firm to the touch.
Make the icing:
Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl of a mixer and add the butter. Beat until the mixture starts to resemble breadcrumbs.
Add the cream cheese and beat well. Add the remaining lime zest and juice and beat again until smooth.
When the cake is completely cold, spread the icing carefully over the top and sides of the cake: