Friday 5 August 2011

Chocolate courgette cake

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
225g courgettes
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!

Edited to add this to Jac's of Tinned Tomatoes Bookmarked Recipes event. This event was founded by Ruth of Ruth's Kitchen Experiments. I have to admit that I've had the Green and Black's cookbook for years now and I think this is possibly the first thing I've made out of it!


Chele said...

I've been trying to pluck up the courage to try out a brownie recipe using courgettes, but I just couldn't see it working in a baked chocolate treat. Your post is helping ... a lot ;0)

cornercottage said...

Looks yummy, I keep threatening our courgettes that I'll turn them into cake if they keep reproducing! I'm palming a load off tomorrow to a couple of friends but I think I'll keep some back now I've seen your post!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

That looks so moist and chocolatey! I am sure I have a courgette in the fridge. Have to make this. Like the saving of the cake, hehe! Oh and this sounds like a Bookmarked Recipe, if you would like to add it to the linky :)

Anonymous said...

I love that Green and Black's cookbook, but I've never made this before, so thank you for testing it out and letting us know it works! Although we never have a glut of courgettes - we can't seem to grow the darn things!

Caroline said...

Chele - you really can't taste the courgettes, but the cake is very moist indeed. Go for it with your brownies!

Hanna - lucky you to have too many! I'd definitely recommend this recipe but don't overfill the tin - you'll probably need to make a couple of cupcakes or something too.

Jac - it was super moist! I was pretty pleased with my save too. I'll have to add it to the linky later.

Celia - it's an interesting book isn't it. I haven't made much out of it because I find it's organised in a confusing way for me, there seems no logic to the order of the recipes. Perhaps courgettes like more moisture than you get in Sydney - there has to be something going for all the rain we get here!

Katie said...

I made a courgette cake yesterday too and am going to post about it later. It wasn't a choc one though and this one looks delicious. I'll have to try this one next:)

Choclette said...

Ha ha C, I have courgette and chocolate cake on today's baking list. I've made three different versions of it so far (with varying degrees of success), but not yet got around to trying this one out. In fact I've got three different recipes I haven't yet tried in my various baking books. Today I'm going to try the one from my Riverford Farm book. Yours looks delicious and not that burnt at all. Courgettes make for a nice moist cake and I do like the addition of cinnamon.

Johanna GGG said...

thanks for the recommendation - have seen this cake in the cookbook before and been tempted by it - though I just don't have zucchinis in the garden to make it necessary - sad to say!

Caroline said...

Katie - yours looks amazing!

Choclette - I'll look forward to seeing how yours turns out! Chocolate and courgette seems a popular combo, which is odd because chocolate and carrot seems wrong...

Johanna - a recipe to bear in mind for a few months time then, when zucchini are cheap and plentiful in your part of the world!


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