This year I seem to have started off the zucchini aka courgette season with a glut. I anyway usually slice them into spaghetti strips or noodles to use, seasoned, sprinkled with fresh chopped oregano or coriander, and warmed through with a little oil or butter, instead of pasta. They go well with either tomato or meat based sauces.
But then as the harvest began to multiply beyond the sensible, including exceeding neighbour capacity, my mind wended towards cake. I remembered having a delicious slice of lemon courgette cake last year in a museum cafe. So I did a trawl of recipes on the internet, and adapted a gluten free flour one found at The Pink Rose Bakery into a ground almond-polenta version. In fact I’ve been using ground almonds (and or polenta flour) in most of my cake recipes these days. They give much lighter, moister results.
So this is what I did:
Lemon Zucchini Cake
20 cm/8” deep cake tin, oiled
oven 180 C/160 C fan/350 F
250 gm/ good 8 oz of coarsely grated zucchini/courgette placed in sieve over sink to drain
2 large eggs
125ml/4 fl oz vegetable oil. I used groundnut
150gm/5 oz sugar. I used coconut flower sugar for its slight toffee flavour
112 gm/4 oz polenta flour
112 gm/4oz ground almonds
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
3/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
zest of one unwaxed lemon, though zest of two would not hurt if you like lemon
1. In large bowl beat eggs, oil and sugar together until smooth;
2. Stir into the batter all the other ingredients except the zucchini;
3. Gently squeeze any excess moisture from zucchini and add to the mix, distributing well;
4. Pour into tin and bake for around 45 mins until lightly browned and firm to the touch. I was using a fan oven. Probably wise to check after 30 mins.
5. Cool in tin for 10 mins. Turn out onto rack and sprinkle with coconut flower sugar.
Options: You could drizzle it with icing made with lemon juice and icing sugar, or maybe add a carrot cake topping, although we found the cake sweet enough without. I’m also thinking you could swap the lemon zest for orange zest, and use half a teaspoon of cinnamon in place of the vanilla essence. And I think the cake would be good served with fresh raspberries and creme fraiche. Unfortunately we have now eaten it before I could try out this last suggestion. But never mind. There are plenty more essential ingredients growing at the allotment.
copyright 2017 Tish Farrell
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