Monday, 11 February 2008

Flora's Famous Courgette Cake

If courgette cake sounds dodgy to you, think about carrot cake for a moment; this is just an adaptation of that (though if you feel its safer, don't tell people it's made of courgettes until after they've eaten it). - Nigella Lawson

The verdict: Something had to be done with the zucchinis my garden is producing. Admittedly, this recipe only takes 250g and that big one my hand is on weighs a kilo, but you know, Rome wasn't built in a day, so this recipe was a good start.

With the delicious lime curd luxuriously sandwiched between the layers and a decadent layer of a lime flavoured cream cheese topping, it's a wonderful explosion of flavours.

Unusual or substituted ingredients: Well, as Nigella says in the quote above, some people might think zucchini in a cake is weird. I don't. Neither does my husband. He was just glad to see me using one of the monsters! Everything else in the recipe is pretty standard cake fare. Nigella said the raisins could be optional, so I opted not to include them. I'm not really one for raisins etc in cakes.

Nigella also suggested using a good quality shop bought lime curd filling if you wished, boosting it with a squirt of lime juice, but I opted to make the lime curd. It took about 5 minutes. Too easy. Although I take issue with the use of a whole egg.

I didn't get a photo of it, but I would have thought that a custard kind of filling would require only the use of egg yokes, not whites. The whites, even while I whisked it briskly, left trails of cooked white. They weren't noticeable in the eating of the cake, but they disturbed me nonetheless. Next time, I'd just do the yoke.

Special utensils or cookware: This is a two layer cake. Fortunately, I not long ago bought a couple of Victoria Sponge tins.

Repeatability: This, I'm certain, will be dragged out every year when I have zucchinis to burn. It's not time consuming (as you might think it is). There's a bit of a wait while you let everything cool down, so don't imagine you can whip it up quickly before guests come for afternoon tea. Otherwise, it's a winner!

Sauciness: It's saucy alright. Layers of rich, lime flavoured creaminess go a long way towards making this a decadent, delightful and impressive cake. Topped with a smattering of chopped pistachios, it's perfect.

Overall pleasure level: You can't beat it. The cake itself is wonderfully light - some vegetable based cakes aren't. It's a 10 out of 10 for me.