This is another cake to help those of you with garden gluts of courgettes. Admittedly, there will be other recipes out there that will help more, 225g of courgettes is only about 1 medium one, but sometimes every little helps, and this would be a great way to disguise courgettes for the vegetable hating, cake loving ones in your life. Obviously they can't just eat cake for ever though.....
This is also an appealing recipe because it uses oil rather than butter for the main fat content, so it's better for your health, and at the moment, your pocket too! It comes from the Green and Black's cookbook and was submitted to a competition they ran in Country Living magazine (probably many, many years ago now!) by a lady called Lindsey Barrow. I'd like to personally thank her for submitting this delicious recipe and think it's scandelous that she was only a runner up and not the winner!
One thing to note: the recipe doesn't fit into a 2lb loaf tin (well, at least it didn't fit into mine). This meant that the top crust was rather caramelised..... (aka burnt) so I shaved off a thin layer of cake. I also didn't bother with the recommended buttercream icing.
Chocolate courgette cake
175g dark chocolate
200g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp ground cinnamon
110g caster sugar
175ml sunflower oil (I actually used light olive oil)
2 medium eggs
- Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C. Grease and base line a 2lb loaf tin (but see note above).
- Melt the chocolate (either over simmering water, or carefully in the microwave)
- Beat together the oil and eggs.
- Finely grate the courgette into this mixture and mix in to incorporate.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon and add the sugar. Stir well to mix.
- Add the melted chocolate and pour into the loaf tin. Do not overfill.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes (mine needed a little longer) until the loaf is well risen and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for a little while as the freshly baked loaf is very fragile.
- Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
I took this into work, forgetting that I'd already taken the previous courgette cake to the same set of colleagues. Hmm, I'm starting to get a reputation as the person who bakes cakes with slightly odd combinations of ingredients in them. Never mind, I'm sure that all was forgiven when they tasted the cake, and I did indeed get good feedback about this one. I'm not surprised, it's delicious! It's extremely moist and very, very delicate - some of the slices broke up as I was lifting them to put into the cake tin. You (obviously) can't taste the courgette in any kind of vegetable like way, by which I mean that I'm sure it's adding to the background flavour of the chocolate cake, but isn't coming to the fore. Rather unusually (I think) you can't really taste the cinnamon either. I quite often find that cinnamon can be overpowering in cakes, and here it's very subtle. I definitely wouldn't pick it out as cinnamon if asked, but the cake has a lovely complex flavour and although it isn't obvious from the pictures, is the most gorgeous reddish brown, rather than being completely brown, if that makes sense?
Would defnintely make again, and recommend this to others too but with the proviso that there's too much mixture for the specified tin.
Too much cake for tin results in burnt top - answer, shave the top layer off!