I'm not a fan of courgettes, they were a staple of my student years, added to every stir fry, pasta sauce or bake that a limited student budget could conceive. There was also a scrumptuous courgette cake, sweet and moist from sultanas, filled with tart lemon curd and topped with cream cheese this was oft requested for special occaisions, but I'd stopped making it years ago.
A trip to the monthly Moseley Farmer's Market in late summer coincided with lots of inspiration from other blogs and I bought lots. Unfortunately having them in my fridge exerted some kind of pressure on my psyche and I couldn't bring myself to bake that weekend. However, I did discover a recipe for Zucchini Bread Oatmeal from Diet Dessert and Dogs and gave that a try the next morning - what a revelation! I have porridge every morning, I make up my own mix using Rude Health fruity date porridge as a base and adding my own mix of seeds, a bit of extra oat bran and germ , a little more cinnamon with a mixture of water and semi-skimmed milk. I didn't think some grated courgettes would add much to the flavour, but it really is delicious - go on, try it.
The addition of a bit of grated courgette in my breakfast wasn't going to make much of a dent in the enormous specimens occupying the drawer at the bottom of my fridge so I went through the recipes I'd flagged and came up with two that I thought would put them to good use.
The Chocolate Zucchini cake from Simply Recipes is one Elise adapted from the appropriately named Chocolate and Zucchini and I toggled between the two recipes and mine is an amalgam of the two. It's not the prettiest and is predominately a chocolate cake but with a lovely moistness that comes from all that veg. No one at work believed that there were courgettes in there, but all enjoyed it.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Adapted from Simply Recipes and Chocolate and Zucchini
- 1 1/2 cups of plain flour
- 1 cup wholemeal flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 2 1/2 Tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 Tsp bicarbinate of soda
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1 Tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup soft butter
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup soft brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tsp vanilla extract
- Grated zest of one orange
- 2 cups coarsely grated courgettes
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 100g chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
- Heat Oven to 350F
- Mix the flours, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb, salt and cinnamon
- Beat the butter and sugars until smooth
- Add eggs to butter and sugar beating well
- Stir in vanilla, orange zest and courgettes
- Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk in three batches
- Spoon into a greased and flour coated bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean - if you don't have a bundt tin, firstly get one because they are great, secondly this mixture should make two loaf tins, check after 30 mins.
- Cool for about 15 mins in the tin before turning out to cool completely on a rack
To contrast the safe, hidden (but delicious) use of the courgettes in chocolate cake recipe enough I also made Special Zucchini Bread from 101 Cookbooks. I adored this, the combination of spices, citrus, nuts and ginger was just delicious, the texture too was so moreish, a little something different in each mouthful. I used soft brown sugar I left out the poppy seeds as I didn't have any but I did have a jar of Raz el Hanout so used that, as suggested, in place of the curry powder. The smells from the oven while this was baking were amazing, and whilst it was cooling I spent a fair amount of time picking off bits of toasted walnut to eat - just to check you inderstand. Pop over to the site for the recipe - you won't regret it.