Courgette cake

As part of my Courgette day, to accompany the puff potato and courgette pie…. clearly I had an abundance of courgettes!

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For this one, I was inspired by a recipe from Anna Olson and made it my own…. I will add the American measurements which  I used this time as many times have I heard it doesn’t work the same… it does!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter – 125g
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup sugar – 130g ( I mixed in light brown for colour)
  • 1 to 2 tsp of finely grated orange zest: as you prefer but you don’t want it to overpower the taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup flour – 200g
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ salt
  • ½ tsp ground vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup grated courgettes, loosely packed
  • chocolate chips, as little or as much as wanted

Streusel topping:

as in: https://farandoleofcakes.com/2014/07/17/banana-cake-with-streusel-topping/ but substitute 1 tbsp of cocoa powder with flour

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and grease or line a loaf tin
  • Beat the butter, eggs, sugar, zest and vanilla extract together in a large bowl
  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and vanilla powder
  • Stir in the courgette to coat it with the flour
  • Add this to the wet mixture, stirring until just blended.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips (if using) and scrape the batter into the prepared pan
  • Top evenly with streusel
  • Bake in the oven for 50 to 60mn, until tester comes out clean
  • Cool the cake completely in the pan until turning out to slice and enjoy!

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Cucumber Cake

A very unusual ingredient for a cake, I made this last summer as I found myself with a surplus of cucumbers. The recipe itself was very hard to find and I still had to adapt it as it was Indian. It is ideal for those waistlines as very low fat yet very nice: you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s cucumber unless told! So easy to make too!

CUCUMBER CAKE

Ingredients:

* Dry Bowl:

  • 70g wholemeal flour
  • 85g brown rice flour
  • 90g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom

*Wet Bowl:

  • 200g brown sugar ♥ I reduced it to 125g
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml apple puree
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 ¾ cup cucumber seeded and grated

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and grease a 18cm/ 7″ Bundt pan
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together
  • Mix all the wet ingredients together
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until everything comes together
  • Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top
  • Bake in the oven for 35 to 40mn, until a skewer comes out clean
  • Unmould 10mn after removing from the oven and cool on a wire rack

Note:

Also works with peach or mango but DO NOT try with melon, just wouldn’t have it….

Carrot Cake

I got the recipe from one of my favourite Australian cooking magazines (hence the measuring cups but I converted for ease), adapted and perfected it through the years… It even won a first in a village competition. Best of all, it is actually what my boys request the most!

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Ingredients:

  • 185g soft, unsalted butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 240g grated carrots, mixed with the zest and 1tbsp of the juice of a citrus fruit {normally I would use an orange, but today all I had was a grapefruit}
  • 25g dessicated coconut
  • 120g plain flour
  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground vanilla
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Preparation:

  • Grate the carrots and mix in with the zest and juice. Set aside
  • Preheat oven to 180C/ 160Fan/ Gas 4 and grease or line a 20cm/ 8″ round springform cake tin
  • Cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer in a small bowl until light and fluffy
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined
  • Transfer into a larger bowl and stir in by hands carrots (with juice) and coconut
  • Sift in all the dry ingredients and lightly combine until just mixed
  • Spread into the prepared tin and bake for 45 to 50mn, until it feels firm and springy when you press in the centre and the sides are detached
  • Cool in the tin for 5mn before transferring to a cooling rack

Icing:

For a simple icing, I sift some icing sugar and mix it in with a little milk to form a smooth and shiny paste. As I had some shredded carrots left, I added it to the paste for effect!

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Mushroom Cake

This one definitely comes into the category “weird and wonderful”. You might love mushrooms and think it a waste but it gives this cake a very earthy taste, quite different… I dished it out to friends and family, trying to make them guess the ingredient, no luck. Even my older son who dislike mushrooms the most ate it with relish and couldn’t tell. Word of advice: I always try to reduce either fat or sugar content but here it is as far as I could go….

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Ingredients:

  • 125g diced soft butter (I always use unsalted, reduced fat)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (homemade)
  • 2 eggs
  • 250g wholewheat self-raising flour ( you could do half white)
  • 125ml milk
  • 350g button mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 heaped tbsp honey
  • 50 to 75g chopped walnuts (optional)

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180C/ 160Fan/ Gas 4. Grease and flour a 20cm/ 8″ round  springform cake tin
  • Using a stand mixer (just easier later), cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  • Add the 1 egg at a time with the vanilla extract, mixing well between each addition
  • With the mixer on low, add half of the flour gradually making sure it is well incorporated into the batter before adding anymore
  • Add half the milk, followed by half of the remaining flour
  • Add the rest of the milk and finish with the last of the flour
  • Add the mushrooms, mixing through the batter (you might have to stop the mixer to scrape the sides down)
  • Add the honey and walnuts if used
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 to 55mn
  • Check with a skewer and if the centre comes out clean, turn off the oven and leave to cool for 15mn with the door ajar
  • Remove from the oven and after 10mn transfer onto a cooling tray
  • Dust with icing sugar, I personally used cinnamon sugar