120g softened unsalted butter
125ml sunflower oil
100g caster sugar
200g soft brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
350g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
450g courgettes, peeled and finely grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
I wrote this first in August 2011, when we were fortunately enough to be having a serious glut of courgettes (it’s hard to imagine now, in January 2014!).
“The ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ creeps upon us. Blackberries are ripening, courgettes are turning into marrows while one’s back is momentarily turned, the plums on our old tree are turning a beauiful golden red and are already as sweet as honey, the apple tree can hardly cope with all the apples and the damsons are darkening by the hour. We’re all going to have a busy time and it doesn’t stop with the picking. After the jam and chutneys, the apple puree and damson gin, what to do with all the courgettes?
Soup (lovely), chutneys and pickle (also lovely) chocolate and courgette cake – also sounds very lovely. Riverford Farm have the recipe which you will find the link to here but also in their recipe book, page. I tried it yesterday. It smelt delicious but it certainly was a tad on the heavy, somewhat squadgy side as the photograph will suggest. Perhaps 1lb of grated courgete is asking a bit much, and rather more likely, I perhaps should have left it in the oven a little longer. It was compulsive eating though, I kept trying yet another bit, just to reassure myslef that it was really deliciousl. I wonder what our guests’ reaction is… – I hope they will let us know. Meanwhile, here is the link to the recipe, courtesy of Riverford. Do let me know what you think if you make it. i shall certainly try again as my first attempt was not an unqualified success (and I usually have quite a good success rate with cakes although i say it myself).
Put the butter, sunflower oil and both sugars in a bowl and beat them together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and then the milk.
Sift the dry ingredients together and fold them into the mixture. Stir in the courgettes and vanilla, then spoon the mixture into a 20 x 35cm baking tin lined with baking parchment. Place in an oven preheated to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 and bake for 35–45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cut into squares whilst still warm.
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