This week the Great British Bake Off was all about unconventional baking – using flours that are wheat- or gluten-free, and using no dairy ingredients (like butter or milk). The final round saw the contestants bake a showstopper cake that was completely dairy free and contained a vegetable. They went for butternut squash, carrot or beetroot between them.
As we had a courgette in the veg box this week, and as I’ve been meaning to bake a courgette cake for some time now, I decided that this would be a great time to do it! We also had some cooking apples given to us by one of Tom’s work colleagues who has a glut of them in her garden, so I thought I’d combine the two in a cake with some spices too.
I googled some courgette cake recipes and adapted one from BBC Good Food (I never follow a recipe exactly, and I wanted to add apple anyway). It came out very well, and actually rose more than I thought it might, given that vegetable cakes can be quite stodgy. It tastes like a fruit cake, but is lovely and moist from the grated courgette and apple. My boys all approved!
- 2 large eggs
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 85g soft brown sugar
- 1 medium courgette, grated
- 1 cooking apple, grated
- (combined weight of courgette and apple around 350-400g)
- 300g plain flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150g sultanas
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (fan) and prepare a cake tin (grease and line if necessary – I use a silicone mould that doesn’t need this).
- Mix the oil, sugar and eggs together in a bowl, then add the grated fruit and veg.
- In another, larger bowl, mix the flour, spices, baking powder and sultanas until evenly distributed.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin/mould and bake for about an hour (vegetable cakes, according to Mary Berry herself, take longer to bake than ordinary cakes), until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool.
- Eat as fresh as possible – you can also freeze this.