Despite the dog's attempts at picking all my vegetables I am still managing to be over run with courgettes! Every year is the same and you would think I would learn that two plants is quite enough... but no!
So faced with a glut of courgettes and given that one of the choices for this month's Cake Slice Bakers was a "Zucchini Loaf from Seattle" there was no contest really. One of the other cakes this month was an extravagant Black and White Layer Cake consisting of six layers of two different types of cake plus buttercream which just seemed like too much effort without the excuse of a special occasion, but the other two choices - A Sour Cream Coffee Cake with cinnamon and nut topping and a Blueberry Surprise Cake both sounded very tempting. All cakes are taken from Maida Heatter's Cakes
But no... the cougettes needed using up so the zucchini cake it was. It was a really simple cake to put together and although the batter seems very dry and thick, by the time the grated courgettes are thoroughly mixed in the batter becomes much more manageable.
I found the mixture was two much for one of my regular sized loaf pans so filled two instead. Details of sizes etc. are in the recipe below.
The smell in the kitchen while they were baking was just amazing but then I find anything with cinnamon has that effect. And the resulting loaves were well risen, crusty and brown... with no traces of green courgette!
Probably unnecessary but I added a simple glace icing and some walnuts just to pimp it up a little bit as one of these cakes is probably destined for the farm shop this week.
But obviously the other one had to be sampled for the sake of this post!
So I confess... I have had a slice for breakfast this morning. But it is so full of courgettes and walnuts it is practically a health food isn't it? It's not like I just had buttercream for breakfast, which has been known! Just don't remind me when I complain I can't shift the weight gained since breaking my ankle.
It is a delicious cake full of moisture and flavour and I would definitely make it again. In fact there are so many courgettes I might even make another couple of these today to go in the freezer.
And should you wish to try this yourself (I can definitely recommend it) here is my version of the recipe:
Zucchini Loaf From Seattle (adapted from Maida Heatter's Cakes)
You will need one large loaf tin (10" x 5" x 3") or two smaller tins - mine were approximately 8" x 4" x 3" (20cm x 10cm x 7cm) , lined or buttered well and dusted with breadcrumbs. (See method here )
- 420g sifted plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 450g coursely grated courgettes (zucchini) I used four cougettes but do weigh them as sizes do vary!
- 220g vegetable oil
- 400g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 112g walnut pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 deg F, 180 deg C, 160 deg fan.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently beat the eggs to break them up and add the vanilla, oil and sugar mixing well to combine
- Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix well.
- Stir in the grated courgette until thoroughly mixed and then fold in the walnuts
- Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for about an hour or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. (If you are making one cake Maida says to bake for and hour and 45 minutes which seems a long time so keep an eye on it!)
- Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the tin for about ten minutes before turning out to cool on a rack.
- Once cool add a simple glace icing (125g icing sugar plus 1 tablespoon warm water makes enough for one cake) and some walnut halves... this is entirely optional!