The courgette, also known as ‘zucchini’, has its ancestry in the Americas. However, there are varieties of squash called zucchini, which were developed in Italy many generations after their conception in the New World. In all probability, this occurred in the late 19th century near Milan. The alternative name ‘courgette’ is from the French. My recipe is an adaptation of the much-loved carrot cake. Both vegetables offer the required moisture, flavour and density and, even more importantly, can provide one of your recommended five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables – a case of having your cake and eating it!
Cooking time: 2 hours
- 225g unsalted butter
- 225g light brown sugar
- 4 free range eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 175g self-raising flour
- 5ml baking powder
- 50g ground almonds
- 125g walnut pieces, chopped
- 350g young courgettes, peeled and grated
- 225g cream cheese
- 10ml clear honey
- 1 teaspoon Roman Vinaigre©®
- Grease and line a round 20cm cake tin.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat the yolks, then stir.
- Sift the flour and baking powder, then stir in the ground almonds and 100g of the walnuts, together with the nutmeg, cinnamon and courgettes.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the cake mixture.
- Pour into the greased tin and bake at 180°C 350°F /gas mark 4 for approx. 1½ hours.
- Leave to cool slightly before tipping out onto a wire tray.
- For the topping, beat together the cheese, honey and Roman Vinaigre©®, and spread over the top of the cake.
- Decorate with remaining walnuts.