I am beginning to think of myself as almost a real allomenteer (is that a word?) or veg grower as I have my first glut – courgettes.
It’s hardly surprising given that I have three courgette plants and it is really only me that eats them, although I do adore them and eat enough for two. I have been wondering what to do with the excess as even I, a keen courgette consumer. cannot keep up with the quantity being produced. So I have a two prong approach – both experimental for me.
The first prong is to try to freeze some courgette to use later in the year. Apparently you need to shred it, squeeze the moisture out (sprinkling with salt and applying a weight to grated courgette in a sieve seems to be the recommended approach) and then freeze in batches ready for using in stews and sauces etc in the winter.
The second prong of my plan has caused a few raised eyebrows in my home – courgette cake. I can’t see what the fuss is about. It is no different to carrot cake and I remember eating courgette (or zucchini) cake when I was in Australia years back. I had a mooch around the internet and this is the recipe I decided to follow although there are lots of variations out there. My recipe is from the foodiesite which seems to be a very useful resource.
250g butter, broken into pieces
250g caster sugar
350g self raising flour
juice and zest of 1 orange
1 tsp cinnamon
half tsp mixed spice
350g courgette, grated
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
- Grease and line either a 25cm diameter cake tin or two 20cm cake tins. Preheat oven to 180 C
- Cream the sugar and butter. Add the beaten eggs gradually mixing until the mixture is creamy and fluffy
- Sieve the flour with the spice and fold in a third, followed by half the orange juice and zest and repeat until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Stir in walnuts, sultanas and courgette
- Pour into cake tins and cook for 1 hour until firm to the touch (if you are using two 20cm cake tins reduce the cooking time by 30-40mins)
- Turn out on to a rack and cool
I think the cake would be quite nice as it is but you can add to it with icing, although be warned this is a pretty sickly icing.
Ingredients for icing
125g cream cheese
50g unsalted butter
300g icing sugar (I ended up adding more to get the consistency I wanted)
juice and zest of quarter orange
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Gradually beat in the icing sugar and orange juice and zest until you have a smooth creamy icing. You can use this to sandwich together the two smaller cakes or to ice the top of the big cake.
The general consensus, even from my non-courgette eating son was that it was good cake!!
I am now going to investigate recipes for my next expected glut – squashes!!