How to Eat Vegetables

Here in France the shops are full of courgettes (or zucchini to you perhaps) at the moment.  I don’t much like them as a vegetable but spotted a likely looking recipe in Nigella’s  How To Be A Domestic Goddess’ book and, undeterred by my recent tasty yet unattractive chocolate loaf cake, decided to give the stand mixer another whirl.

The early signs were encouraging.

We already had a jar of home made lime curd in the cupboard for the filling and a whole net of limes in a bowl seeking a purpose.

I just had to nip down to the shop for some cream cheese and there you go.

The recipe has you sprinkle the top with pistachios – which makes it even more green – but I stuck with the zest of a lime.  Because, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not keen on sweet things.

Have a great weekend.

Flora’s Famous Courgette Cake (from Nigella Lawson How To Be A Domestic Goddess)

  • 60g raisins (optional)
  • 250g courgettes (2-3, weighed before you grate them)
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line 2 x 21cm round tins.
If using raisins, place in a bowl and cover with warm water to plump them up. (I didn’t add any and didn’t miss them).
Rinse whole courgettes, and then grate (skin on) with the course side of a grater – you want to see the flecks of green.
Place eggs, oil, and sugar in bowl of electric mixer, and beat until creamy. Fold in sifted flour, bicarb, and baking powder. Stir in courgette (and raisins if using).
Pour mixture into tins and bake for 30 minutes, until golden on top and firm to touch. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely before assembling.
For filling use a good quality curd or make your own.  Lime is best and we just happened to have some already made but lemon is good too.
For the icing.
  • 200g cream cheese, softened
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • juice 1 lime (and zest if you want to decorate the top with it)
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped pistachios (not the salty ones you have with drinks!)

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add icing sugar, beating continually. Add lime juice.

To assemble cake, place bottom layer on a serving plate and spread thickly with lime curd. Place 2nd cake on top carefully. Spread cream cheese over the top, and sprinkle with pistachios or just the zest of lime as I did. 

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  1. #1 by claire93 on March 24, 2017 - 18:35

    oooh this looks yummy! We’ll be growing courgettes again this year, so I’ll give this a try, but a GF version.

    • #2 by tialys on March 24, 2017 - 20:42

      We grew courgettes for a couple of years and the blooming things went berserk. It was hard to spot the young ones before they turned into marrows. If you try the recipe What will you use instead of flour? Ground almonds?

      • #3 by claire93 on March 25, 2017 - 19:03

        a mixture of rice flour, chick pea flour and something called Gomme de Guar (or something like that).

  2. #4 by nanacathy2 on March 24, 2017 - 18:48

    Looks very tasty!. To eat courgettes as a veg, slice length ways and coat in flour, fry in olive oil. Gorgeous!

    • #5 by tialys on March 24, 2017 - 20:41

      I think frying is the only way to go with courgettes – or in a cake of course, as I’ve just discovered.

  3. #6 by themateriallady on March 24, 2017 - 19:03

    It looks delicious. I have that book so will try this out myself. Thanks for showing yours 😃

    • #7 by tialys on March 24, 2017 - 20:40

      I kid myself it’s healthy as it has courgettes in it 🙂 Not to worry though – I’ll probably only get one slice of it as husband and youngest are competing to see who can eat the most.
      Let me know how yours turns out.

  4. #9 by Frivolous Monsters on March 24, 2017 - 21:50

    That looks good. I may give that a try. I’m guessing that your homemade curd was very runny to begin with!

    • #10 by tialys on March 25, 2017 - 09:53

      Well, not very runny but I don’t like to make it too thick either – I generally put it on top of porridge or spread on toast. The reason it looks like it’s running out of the sides is because I probably put too much in and then the top sandwich kept sliding off the bottom, pushing the curd out. Once I’d assembled it all and put it in the fridge to ‘calm down’ no more oozing was to be seen. You should try it – it is very good and one I’d make again.

  5. #11 by sew2pro on March 24, 2017 - 23:51

    My friend made this not so long ago (with pistachios) but there was too much going on at once for me! (Not that I left a crumb, you understand)

    I sometimes make the Courgette Filo pastry pie from the same book. I was impressed by how easy filo is to use. I’m now using the same technique and timing as in the recipe but with different fillings.

    I am so impressed by the home-made lemon curd! It sound delicious

    • #12 by tialys on March 25, 2017 - 09:49

      Yes, that’s why I left the pistachios off – I felt they were unnecessary, although it does make for a pretty picture in a cookery book. The lemon curd is easy – back when I first started blogging and had no readers, I put the recipe I use all the time in a blog post here It comes out very bright yellow because we use our home grown eggs. I love a spoonful on top of porridge or spread on toast.

  6. #13 by katechiconi on March 24, 2017 - 23:55

    I make something very similar, but instead of the cream cheese (seeing as I’m lactose intolerant), I use a thin glaze of icing sugar mixed with moist coconut flakes and turned into a slurry with lime juice. It’s a very good cake, moist and no trace of courgette flavour!

    • #14 by tialys on March 25, 2017 - 09:46

      I was a bit dubious about the courgette part but I like carrot cake and it’s the same principle – if you didn’t tell anybody the ingredients I don’t think they’d ever guess. My daughter thought the green flecks were lime. Your topping sounds good and a little less gooey than mine but I did suggest leaving the cream cheese off as I think the cake could be fine without but I was overruled.

      • #15 by katechiconi on March 25, 2017 - 09:51

        I know it’s heresy, but I’m not a big fan of cream cheese frosting… Not least because it gives me a tummy ache, but I just find it claggy and heavy. I make a thin cinnamon flavoured icing sugar glaze for carrot cake, which I like a lot better 🙂
        And yes, if you don’t advertise the vegies, no one knows they’re there. I got two of the pickiest eaters in the family to scoff *two* slices each before I let them know, mwahaha! Evil aunt strikes again…

  7. #16 by dezertsuz on March 25, 2017 - 04:44

    I’ve never had lime curd, but I love zucchini bread! You really have made a cake, though. It looks delicious! You might try it as bread, with less sugar. Quite tasty also.

    • #17 by tialys on March 25, 2017 - 09:42

      Bread sounds interesting – I’ll have to investigate.

  8. #18 by KerryCan on March 25, 2017 - 13:23

    This sounds delightful–and a great way to use up courgettes/zucchinis. I have a recipe for zucchini frozen yogurt that is pretty darn good, too!

    • #19 by tialys on March 26, 2017 - 09:05

      Judging by some of the comments here, people are doing all sorts of things with courgettes/zuccchinis and there was I thinking only of ratatouille.

  9. #20 by CurlsnSkirls on March 26, 2017 - 03:15

    Lovely and yummy looking success – congratulations! (And thanks so much for including the recipes.) xx

  10. #22 by Thimberlina on March 26, 2017 - 20:34

    I used to make this cake when I was into baking, i stopped because i just kept eating it all! I also had a muffin book with had coco courgette muffins which were relish!! 🙂

    • #23 by tialys on March 27, 2017 - 09:55

      Mmm – they sound good. I don’t bake often but I get the urge from time to time.

  11. #24 by Beads and Barnacles on March 27, 2017 - 11:09

    Cake looks good. Nikki has experimented with courgette cake before, it turned out very moist, like carrot cake.
    I must admit I love them as a vegetable which is good as when you do grow them you end up with a serious glut 🙂

    • #25 by tialys on March 27, 2017 - 14:09

      Yes – very like carrot cake for the moistness but possibly not such a strong flavour. They do go mad when you grow them don’t they and turn into marrows if you don’t find them quick enough.

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