Monday, 19 September 2011

Courgette Loaves

Recipe Number Ninety:  Page 313.

I was delighted to find a recipe within the Baking Bible which requires courgettes. Neil has a small vegetable patch in the garden and, after several months of not much happening, four courgettes suddenly sprang to life. They, of course, needed to be eaten up. Three went into a veggie lasagne but I still had one particularly large courgette left over. After a quick flick through the book, I found this recipe for courgette loaves. I weighed the almost marrowesk courgette and it was just a tiny bit over the amount needed, hooray! But, as life is rarely simple and straightforward, I of course hit a snag! One of the ingredients needed was buckwheat flour. This turned out to be a surprisingly elusive substance. I went and asked in several health stores. They did not have any and looked surprised that I should even ask for such a thing! I looked in supermarkets and no luck there either. I felt my only other option was to look online, I found a 1kg packet of buckwheat flour on Amazon of all places! It did seem odd ordering flour from Amazon, so I felt I HAD to order a DVD to go with it! As I had chosen free delivery, there was a five day wait for my flour to arrive. I stored the courgette in the fridge and it was still in tip-top condition by the time the flour arrived. I can't say a bag of flour is the most exciting package I have ever received!

I decided to make the loaves on the Friday evening. Yes, this is the way I spend a Friday night nowadays! I had thrown out some cheap and nasty cake tins several months ago to make way for some better quality substitutes. I could have sworn I still had two loaf tins, but sadly this was not the case; I only had one. I therefore would have to put one courgette loaf in the oven at a time. Oh well, never mind!

First of all, I added eggs and lots of oil to a bowl. I quite like using oil in preference to butter. It is so much easier to measure and I don't have to remember to soften it; I just have to pour it in! I measured out a staggering amount of sugar. I had to remind myself that this sugar would be spread between two cakes! Next, I tipped in plain flour and buckwheat flour in equal quantities. The buckwheat had a speckled appearance. It said on the packet that it has a sweet flavour; good job I have a sweet tooth! I needed to add some baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. I don't usually get to use bicarbonate of soda and on this occasion I needed quite a lot of it; how exciting! I used a teaspoon to measure out some ground cinnamon, only to realise that I had read the recipe wrong; I actually needed a tablespoon! I am not a lover of cinnamon, so hoped the flavour wouldn't be overwhelming. I retrieved the courgette from the fridge. I found it really easy to grate and it was next to no time before it was all in the bowl. Last of all I added a good quantity of both raisins and walnuts and gave the mixture a good stir. The sugar and the oil had, by this time, formed a thick paste, so I really had to make sure I mixed thoroughly! I poured what I hoped to be roughly half of the mixture into my loaf tin and placed it into the oven. As we always have a nice easy meal on a Friday, Neil was busy taking a pizza out of our double oven. Not only did he turn off the main oven, he also turned off the little oven which had been happily cooking my cake. Thankfully he realised straight away and turned it back on!!!

The smell wafting from the kitchen was wonderful. Even though I am not keen on cinnamon I love the smell; it reminds me of Christmas! The cooked courgette loaf hadn't risen particularly well, but did look good and had a rather appealing shiny, sugary top. Mary reassures that this is quite normal! I left the loaf to cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. I then moved on to using up the remaining mixture by pouring it into the loaf tin and then putting it into the oven. While it cooked I went and plonked back in front of the TV, another compulsory activity for a Friday night! Once this loaf was cooked, I was pleased to see that it had risen better than my previous effort.

It was too late to try the cakes; maybe if they had been smothered in chocolate I might have weakened! The next morning we had a slice with a cup of tea. To be honest I hadn't expected much of these loaves, but I was very pleasantly surprised. I loved the flavours, the warm subtle spice of the cinnamon, the sweetness of the raisins and the crunch of the walnuts. We couldn't really taste the courgette but the tiny flecks of green throughout hinted at its presence. The courgette did make the cake beautifully moist and my goodness it is moreish; we can't stop eating it! Mary says to store one in the fridge and put the other in the freezer. I don't think we will bother putting it in the freezer!
These have to be part of my five a day!


4 comments:

  1. Well you've convinced me to give it a go, I wasn't keen on courgette in a cake and I hate the taste of bicarb and normally avoid it at any cost, but after you're glowing review i'm intrigued xx

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  2. I hope you like it! I suppose I have never been that keen on courgette in a cake either. I really did like this though, I didn't find it that different to a carrot cake. Please don't hate me if you don't like it LOL. xxx

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  3. Could never hate you my lovely even if you told me to bake goat cheese cake (my all time worst food) xx

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  4. LOL - Ewww, that sounds vile!! xx

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