It’s a familiar refrain at this time of year among those who like to grow their own veg… “Would you like some courgettes?” I have been lucky this year and I too can join this ritual with a bumper crop! So what to do with this glut of courgettes? Well, courgettes are one of my favourite vegetables. So it was only natural that eventually I would put them in a cake! This Spiced Chocolate Courgette Cake is deliciously, deeply chocolaty and ever so moist!
The spices add a different dimension to this chocolate cake. They’re not overpowering but instead add a warmth and depth to this rich chocolate cake. I was inspired by Green & Black’s Maya Gold Chocolate, one of my favourites as the spices are just so good there!
The icing is beautifully smooth and silky and the hint of orange complements with spiced wonderfully. I cut back on the amount of sugar in this recipe too as I just don’t think you need as much sugar as we’re used to putting in cakes. Overall I feel happy calling this cake almost healthy! It’s probably one of your five a day anyway!
While you can definitely see the courgette in the uncooked mixture by the time it is cooked it has vanished like magic! I honestly don’t think that anyone would know it was there if you didn’t tell them. The crumb isn’t too dense either even though the cake is gloriously moist but without ever approaching brownie territory.
Makes 1 x 23cm cake
2 medium sized courgettes, grated (500ml in a jug is what you need YMMV on the courgettes required!)
175ml sunflower oil
300g golden caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
350g self raising flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp mixed spice
250g dark chocolate (I used a mixture of 50-80% as that’s what I had in the cupboard!)
125ml orange juice
- Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C and grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin.
- Grate your courgettes (if you have a food processor attachment then use this, its much easier and quicker!)
- Put your courgettes in a sieve or colander and gently press to squeeze out some excess moisture.
- Place the courgettes in a large jug, you need to have about 500ml of them.
- If your jug is big enough (I use a 1l pyrex jug) then add the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla straight to this. Give it all a good mix.
- In a large mixing bowl add your flour, cocoa powder and mixed spice and mix it all together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir thoroughly until all the pockets of flour have disappeared.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 45-60 minutes. This cooking time will depend very much on the moisture content of your courgettes. Check it at intervals, it’s done when there is no wobble left and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin.
- To make the icing melt your chocolate and butter together in a bowl. I use a microwave but you could do it in a bowl over a pan of boiling water if you prefer.
- Add the orange juice and give it all a really good beating to combine everything together into a smooth icing.
- When the cake is cool remove it from the tin and unpeel the paper.
- Spread the icing evenly over the surface of your cake and enjoy!