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Nigella Courgette Cake

Recipe by Flora Woods of London's "Books for Cooks", it was published by Nigella Lawson and aptly named Flora's Famous Courgette Cake.

Cover Image for Nigella Courgette Cake

Here is a recipe where courgette takes an unlikely (but oh soo good) starring lead in this courgette and lime cake. Just like carrot cake, the cake takes much of the sweetness of courgettes as it's sugar and topped with a zesty lime curd and icing, you'll be counting down the hours till tea time in the garden on summer afternoons. We've decorated ours with pistachios but you can just as easily serve yours with some edible flowers on top.

Perfect to be used with delicious summer courgettes on warm afternoons.

You will need:

Serves 8.

250g of courgette grated
60g raisins soaked
2 large eggs
125ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
2x 21cm sandwich tins, greased and lined

For the lime curd:
75g butter
3 large eggs
75g caster sugar
125ml lime juice
zest of 1 lime

For the icing:
100g icing sugar
250g cream cheese
juice of 1 lime
Handful of pistachios ​

The Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. If you are using raisins, put them in a bowl and soak them with warm water to plump them up.

Wipe the courgettes with a kitchen towel and grate them with skins on, use the box grater, anything too fine and you'll end up with a wet mush. When you have grated them, pop them in a sieve over the sink to drain any excess water.

Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat them until creamy. Sieve in the flour, bicarb and baking powder and mix well. Now, gently stir in the courgette and add the drained raisins. Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch. Leave in their tins on a rack for 5 or so minutes, then turn out and cool on the racks until ready for filling and icing. If you'd rather not make the curd, you can buy some from the shops and add a bit of fresh lime. If you want to make it, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add all the other ingredients and whisk to a custard over gentle heat. Let cool before filling in a jar or straight onto the cake. Keep any spare in the fridge.

To make the cream-cheese icing for the top, beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth, add the sieved icing sugar, beating well to combine, and then stir in the lime juice to taste. Now get your cakes ready to assemble, Put one cake on a plate and spread it with the completely cooled lime curd. Then, put on the top cake and smear thickly with the cream cheese icing. You can always firm the icing up a bit in the fridge for a while. Decorate with some chopped pistachios or edible flowers. ​

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