I picked another enormous summer squash off the plants this morning and having overdone our squash eating in the last couple of weeks, including using it in pasta, in curry, in bolognese and even in salad! I thought maybe some baking was in order. These summer squashes are basically just weird shaped courgettes so that’s exactly how I’ve been using them. They are a mainly water vegetable that doesn’t need much cooking before it turns to mush. They have a simple sweet flavour and carry other flavours really well. I like to combine them with stronger flavours like chorizo, bacon, curry spices or salty cheese like goats cheese or hallumi – it works really well.
Anyway, back to baking. Today I have created a delicious alternative to carrot cake. It’s gluten free, dairy free and even sugar free but trust me, it’s sweet, soft and good for you! The courgette has been grated into fine strands and disappears into the batter so you can’t see it or taste it but it gives lovely texture and keeps the cake soft and moist. I used apricots as an extra texture like you might use walnuts in a carrot cake. I wanted to use poppy seeds to give that classic speckled effect in the cake that goes so nicely with lemons but I didn’t have any so I substituted with linseeds but they sort of disappeared in the batter and I didn’t appreciate them in the cake so I would recommend getting hold of poppy seeds if you can. And instead of using a cream cheese frosting I drizzled it with a lemon sugar icing to compliment the lemon flavour in the cake.
The loaf makes a lovely addition to a cup of tea but to be honest it’s also a sort of breakfast-y loaf and as I’m writing this I’m wondering what it would be like tomorrow with a little bit of butter on top mmmmm. And the muffins were great for the kids, so great in fact that they’ve all been eaten in the time it has taken me to write up this blog post. Hmmph.
So for those of you with a glut of courgettes or squash have a go at making this one, it’s easy peasy and uses a good amount of the green stuff in it!
Courgette & Lemon Loaf & bonus Muffins
GF DF SF
You will need this:
- 400g courgette or summer suqash, skinned, de-seeded (if it has big seeds in) and grated either using a cheese grater or a food processor
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup rapeseed oil (or any light flavoured oil)
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- 150g ground almonds
- 200g rice flour
- 2tsp bicarbonate soda
- 2tsp baking powder
- 1/4-1/2 cup linseed or poppy seed (I used linseeds and they seemed to disappear so I would recommend poppy seeds and you should end up with a lovely speckled effect in the final cake)
You make it like this:
- After grating the veg add 4 whisked eggs and all the wet ingredients into a bowl, stir thoroughly
- Sieve the dry ingredients together and stir through the seeds at the end
- Combine everything and bake in a lined 1lb loaf tin for 40mins at 180c
- I had enough mixture to full an extra tray of 6 muffins and they cooked for 20mins
- Allow to cool before mixing together a small bowl of sieved icing sugar with the juice and zest of another lemon and drizzle liberally over the top