Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson.
This is the sixth recipe that I have made from How to be a Domestic Goddess, which is good-going for me (I have a habit of buying cookbooks and not cooking from them at all). Other recipes I have made from the book include chocolate cherry cupcakes (see the recipe here), and burnt-butter cupcakes (which I will write up soon).
I made this cake because I had a lot of courgettes. Or rather, I had some courgettes, and one thing led to another, and they multiplied, considerably (next time I buy two courgettes I will have to separate them). So I have been eating courgettes for days. But I’m not sick of them, because they are brilliant, and as this cake proves, so versatile.
I love the simplicity of an un-iced loaf cake. It seems more acceptable to be eaten throughout the day. Nigella’s original recipe was for a filled and iced cake. When I first made this cake I did make the icing, but even though I reduced the sugar from the original (as I always do with Nigella icing) it was still tooth-achingly sweet, and the wrong consistency. So I decided just to go without, the cake is sweet enough on it’s own and doesn’t need it.
Due to the dampness of the courgettes and the use of oil instead of butter this is a very moist cake – squidgy and delicious. The cake will continue to get more squidgy and delicious each day after it is made.
250g courgettes – this will range from between 1-3 courgettes, depending on how big they are. Weigh before you grate.
60g raisins or sultanas
2 large eggs
125 ml vegetable oil (or other flavourless oil)
150g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Zest of 1 lime with about 1 tbsp lime juice
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 with fan).
Grate the courgettes unpeeled – not too finely, you want strands, not mush. Put the grated courgette bits into a sieve and leave it sit over the sink while you prep the rest of the ingredients, to allow the excess liquid to drip out.
Beat the eggs, oil and sugar together in a bowl until light and creamed together. Then add in the self-raising flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Mix well, and then add the raisins, lime zest and juice, and grated courgette.
Pour the cake mixture into a lined or greased loaf tin, and bake for 45 minutes, or until it is risen and golden.
Test to see if the cake is ready by inserting a cocktail stick or skewer into the centre of the cake – it should come out clean.