Chocolate Courgette Squares
Along with the current glut of courgettes here in the UK, there seems to be a corresponding glut of courgette cake recipes. Guess what? I’m not bucking the trend. It took a while for our courgettes to get going this year, but they are now coming thick and fast. It’s courgettes for every meal at the moment so using them in a cake is merciful relief.
I have made three courgette and chocolate cakes so far and none of them come from the three recipes I have in my cookery books. So, I thought I really ought to start ticking those off. This time I have gone with the one from the Riverford Farm Cook Book. Theirs is a large one and cooked as a tray bake to feed the hungry hordes. We were off to visit friends who were down holidaying in West Cornwall, so something was needed that would a) travel well and b) feed a crowd – admittedly a small crowd, but teenage boys are not renowned for their small appetites.
This is what I did:
- Grated 450g courgettes (a single fairly large one).
- Creamed 120g unsalted butter with 200g muscovado sugar until well incorporated and most of the sugar lumps had disappeared.
- Beat in 125ml sunflower oil.
- Beat in 3 eggs (2 duck and 1 hen) and carried on beating until the mixture weirdly resembled mayonnaise – in consistency if not in colour.
- Beat in 100ml milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- Sieved in 350g flour (175g white, 150g wholemeal, 25g hemp), 2 level tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda and 4 level tbsp cocoa.
- Stirred carefully until all incorporated.
- Drained off the majority of courgette juice that had formed and stirred the gratings into the cake mixture.
- Scattered 1 level tbsp of cardamom sugar over the top.
- Scraped into a 9″ sq cake mould and baked at 180C for 40 minutes until risen and firm.
- Cooled in the mould then cut into 16 squares.
The sugar gave the crunchy top I was hoping for and the cake was moist, tasty and not too sweet. The recipe had advised peeling the courgettes, but I’ve never done that before and couldn’t see the need. As I’d hoped, there was virtually no sign of the courgette. It was only on re-reading the recipe later that I realised I was meant to put an additional 100g of sugar in – no wonder it wasn’t too sweet!!! They were most welcome after an energetic walk along the coast, which despite the thronging crowds in Porthleven was virtually deserted.