Well it’s official, I’ve failed again in the Veg Garden, and I started this year so well! I’ll tell you all the disasters another time, but in amongst the blighted potatoes and skeletal sprouting broccoli the Courgettes and Runner Beans are magnificent!
The only problem with courgettes is that 50% of the household (well, 75% if you count Henry and Higgins) don’t actually like them! But they are sooo easy to grow, take up loads of space so it makes the garden look very productive, and have such pretty flowers…
but then over night, this happens…
…and there’s a limit to how many you can slip into Shepherds Pie, Curry or Lasagne before protests are made. I went off to consult Delia, Jamie, Nigella and Nigel et al for suggestions and this time the wonderful Nigella inspired me to come up with my own take on a Courgette Cake. The acid test was persuading my horrified cousin to try it and he actually came back for ‘seconds’. (His small son was angling for ‘thirds’!)
So in the interest of helping anyone else with a ‘courgette mountain’ to contend with I’m passing on this version based on Nigella Lawson’s recipe in her book ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess‘.
2 large eggs
125ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
225 SR Flour
½ tspn bicarbonate of soda
½ tspn baking powder
Juice of 1 ½ lemons
100g Caster sugar
24cm square tin, greased and lined
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. (Fan oven 170°C)
Grate the wiped, but not peeled, courgettes with a coarse grater then turn into a strainer over the sink to drain off any excess liquid.
Put the eggs, sugar and oil into a bowl and beat until creamy. Then sieve in the flour, bicarb and baking powder and beat slowly to mix completely. Stir in the grated courgette.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake is slightly brown and firm to the touch and an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
While the cake is cooking put the lemon juice and sugar into a small saucepan and heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved.
As soon as the cake is out of the oven, prick all over the top with a fine skewer, (I use the cake tester as it makes really fine holes) and spoon the hot lemon syrup evenly over the top of the cake. Leave in the tin until absolutely cold before removing it or it will collapse into crumbs and you will be forced to eat it warm with icecream…
This is a moist and delicious cake prettily flecked with green which will keep people guessing if you are coy about the secret ingredient!