We made a real effort this year to stock our garden with as many herbs and vegetables as we possibly could. As any gardener will tell you, this can lead to periods of glut, where suddenly you have piles of vegetables and herbs that all need to be used. At this time of year courgettes are threatening to overrun us, so now is the obvious time to make a courgette cake, something I have been intending to make for years but never got around to.
This beauty – courtesy of my fellow-blogger Kate Hackworthy – came out of the oven literally two hours ago, and is already decimated, so I’ve had to make do with the picture I took when it came out of the oven, before I glazed it. It’s delicious; moist, zingy and with its flecks of courgette skin it is absolutely beautiful. I’ve got loads of courgettes, I might make this again tomorrow!
RECIPE serves 10
a little butter, to grease the tin
350g courgettes (1 or 2 medium size), washed, skin left on
125ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs
100g golden caster sugar
the zest and juice of a lemon
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
for the lemon drizzle:
85g icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
the grated zest of a lemon
Preheat the oven to 180C/ gas 4. I don’t like to use the fan oven for cakes as I find it cooks them too quickly and fiercely.
Grease a 900g loaf tin and line it with baking parchment.
Grate the washed courgettes, with their skins still on, on the coarse side of a box grater into a clean tea towel. Lightly squeeze the towel to drain off excess moisture, then set aside for a moment.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth, then stir the grated courgette through it.
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the mixture and gently fold the mixture with a metal spoon until it is just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for between 60 and 75 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Leave it in the tin on a cooling rack, to completely cool.
To make the lemon drizzle, mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together until smooth, then spoon, spatter or drizzle it over the cake. Sprinkle the lemon zest over the top and watch it disappear!