Today was forecast to be cool and wet. It is the August bank holiday after all. So when an email arrived from mum with a recipe for lemon courgette cake it seemed like a perfect excuse to put the oven on. The courgettes on the allotment are still producing and a small pile of them had been threatening me menacingly from the corner of the kitchen for several days.
The recipe calls for grated courgette. (That will be zucchini if you are Italian or American.) For some reason I’ve never owned a grater other than the really fine one we use for Parmesan cheese and nutmeg. I generally manage with a knife. For this I first shaved off the green skin with a vegetable peeler. (I presumed this was the right thing to do, although the recipe didn’t say.) So I just kept going with the peeler, shredding the courgettes into ribbons. Then I chopped the ribbons with the knife. (So I still don’t feel the need for a grater. No, not even for Christmas.)
The cake rose a little high in the centre, even though I reduced the temperature to 150C. (The recipe said 160C and gave no indication if that was for fan or not.) I don’t think I overdid the raising agents, although quarter teaspoons aren’t the easiest thing for accuracy. This makes me think that 140C might have been enough.
Anyway the rain, as forecast, has continued to fall all day and continues to do so as I have a slice of this lovely cake with my afternoon cup of tea. The other thing I’ve done is sign up for a course in treating lower back pain in September at The Mudita School of Thai Yoga Massage in London with Ralf Marzen and Cyprian Londt.
200g grated courgette
140g caster sugar
110ml vegetable oil
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
zest of a lemon
Juice of half a lemon
approx 2 heaped tbs icing sugar
Oven 160C, I used 150C fan, could maybe have been less as the cake rose quite high in the centre. Grease a 1 lb loaf tin.
In a bowl beat together courgette, sugar, egg, lemon zest and oil. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, bicarb, cinnamon and baking powder. Stir the flour mixture into the courgette mixture just until blended, pour the batter into the prepared tin.
Bake 45 minutes, maybe a little longer if you reduced the temperature. You can always do the skewer test. This a very moist cake, so let it cool a bit in a tin before transferring to a rack, and handle it carefully.
Make up a runny lemon icing to pour over the top as an extra treat. Sift the icing sugar if it’s at all lumpy. Add just enough of the lemon juice to make a double cream consistency. You want it to flow over the cake but not off it. Sprinkle any remaining lemon juice over the sides and base of the cooling cake and let it soak in. When the cake is cool pour/spoon the icing over the top. If you can, give the icing a couple of hours to set before slicing.