Luscious lemon and courgette cake

(makes 12 generous portions)

This moist veg packed cake is adaptation of Flora’s famous courgette cake featured in Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a domestic goddess’. I added lemon zest to the cake mix to give it a citrus kick and tweaked some of the ingredients to fit our food ethos for the Pop up Café we ran in June. This is a great way to use a glut of courgettes when you have run out of savoury ideas and freezes beautifully (un-iced). We sourced our courgettes from Village Greens in Ockley who grow their own. I wanted a more substantial layered cake than the original recipe so increased the amounts given. You can bake this in three tins to give you an extra filling layer if you prefer. Courgettes release water when they are grated so make sure you squeeze them as dry as you can on kitchen towel otherwise it will make the cake mixture too wet. I used some dried cornflower petals to decorate this cake which Jane had bought me as a gift from a range on offer at Secretts farm shop in Milford. A healthy and natural alternative to sprinkles they look stunning.

Ingredients Courgette and lemon cake

185ml sunflower oil

3 free range eggs

225g castor sugar

350g self-raising flour

1 tsp of baking powder

The zest of 2 organic un-waxed lemons (juice for the icing)

90g  raisins, soaked overnight in water

375g courgettes, topped tailed and finely grated

For the icing

400g full fat cream cheese (beware low fat doesn’t work here as it breaks down and goes runny)

200g icing sugar

Juice of 1-2 lemons

Dried cornflower petals to decorate and freeze dried raspberry (optional)

Lemon Curd to fill about half a 350g jar

Method

Pre-heat the oven to Gas mark 4/ 180°c /fan 160°c. Line or grease 2 or 3 round 22cm baking tins.

  1.  Place the oil and eggs and sugar in the mixing bowl of an electric stand mixer or use an electric hand whisk and beat until pale and creamy.
  2. Combine the flour and baking powder and fold into the egg mixture.
  3. Now fold in the lemon zest, courgettes and raisins. Divide the mixture between the three lined tins and bake in pre-heated for 30 minutes.
  4. Leave for 5 minutes then remove from the tins and allow to cool on a rack.
  5. Meanwhile make the icing by combining the ingredients until smooth, chill until required.
  6. Place the first layer on a serving platter and spread with lemon curd. Repeat this with the second and third cake leaving the top un-iced.
  7. Using a palette knife spread the cream cheese icing on the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the top with petals or a decoration of your choice.

cornfower petals _duo

Text and images Shirlee

Text and images Shirlee