Posted by: lialeendertz | July 21, 2011

Courgette glut

Making bunting, with slightly cheesy faux-vintage effect I've just learnt how to do. I made about 1.5m. The 37th most influential creative person in Bristol (official) Jane Willis, made the other 70m or so...

I have an early courgette glut. It is not a proper uber-gardener’s early courgette glut, the kind that you might get if you sowed early, remembered to water your plants occasionally and planted them out under protection. No. This is a garden writer’s courgette glut. I have had to write about having a courgette glut several weeks before I actually have one, so I had to go to the greengrocers and buy courgettes to make myself look glutty in the photos. Insider info, see. I will be hurled out of the Garden Writers’ Circle for telling you that…

So I’ve had all these courgettes knocking about and I had an occasion to make a cake, so I made a courgette cake. The other ingredient that I seem to have a perma-glut of is oranges. They must grow particularly well in the north Somerset region because there is never not an orange in my veg box. So it became a courgette and orange cake. I based the recipe very roughly on the ‘strawberry and cream cupcakes’ from Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache book. I have a love/hate relationship with this book. She uses lots of veg in the cakes, and they are very tasty, and she also doesn’t use fat in some of them, making them feel healthy and dietitious, but it is written in the most annoying style imaginable. You will like it if you aspire to be posh and girly and kooky… ugh ugh…

It's been so long that only the very observant will notice that this is my second cake-based post in a row

The recipe goes like this:

For the cake mix

2 medium free-range eggs

160g caster sugar

200g topped, tailed, peeled and finely grated courgette

100g rice flour

100g ground almonds

2tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

I also added a few drops of orange essence and the grated rind of one orange to the mixture.

Harry says to whip up the eggs and the sugar for a good four minutes with a whisk first. This turns the mixture slightly merenguey, and is perhaps how you get away without adding fat, maybe *science face*. You then add all the other stuff and mix. I put it into two 8-inch tins and baked at gas mark 4 for about 35 minutes. In the meantime I used up another two oranges by bubbling their juice up with some sugar to make a syrup which I poured on as soon as the cakes came out of the oven, so you could call it a sort of courgette and orange drizzle cake. I had creme fraiche for the filling and topping which I was going to just mix with orange zest, but something went wrong and I ended up having to use normal icing sugar, so the whole thing was slightly sickly sweet in the end.

The occasion was a tea party and dance for my friend and fellow band member Arieh. They hired a hall, got in the wonderful Elly of Pear Cafe and Montpelier Basement fame (who officially pronounced the above cake ‘Delicious’ when pressed for a quote for this very blog) to make the sandwiches and the tea, in beautiful vintage teacups, and the band played and all the guests brought cakes. Here is the hall as we were warming up, complete with bunting.  A very special occasion and a lovely way to use up my faux glut. By the time the real thing comes around I will be a dab hand.

Pre-gig scout hut, with bunting



  1. I will certainly be making this cakes at the weekend. I too have the glut !

  2. You haven’t exactly inspired me to buy the book, bake the cake or eat it!

    What were the other cakes like?


    P.S. Pleased you are posting again. Hope all is well.


  3. What I need to know is whether the cake is green and whether someone who disliked courgette would realise the cake had courgettes in it

  4. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – vegetables in cakes are wrong on ALL levels. They are supposed to be healthy. Cake is not.

    Still, bunting looks nice (even if it is a little close together…)


  5. Nice lookin’ cake. Where I come from, courgette cake = zucchini bread. Americans call a whole raft of cakes ‘breads & quickbreads’, which somehow lets us disguise from ourselves the fat content thereof.

  6. Probably the best bunting I’ve ever seen.

  7. Stop gushing Arabella, it’s unbecoming. Dawn, I *almost* agree with you…but beetroot and chocolate brownies really are remarkable and the carrot cake recipe in Veg Patch (available from all good suppliers) is frankly ace. The rest, I agree, can arse off

  8. Looking forward to August’s “How to use Turkey & Christmas pudding leftovers”

  9. So apart from the Almonds and Oranges giving this cake some flavour that’s it! Sorry, sounds disgusting. I’ll stick to a recipe given to me by some Canadian friends for Zuccini Cake. Full of nutmeg and cinnamon and tastes delicious. I’m happy to pass it on as a comparison.

  10. Sarah – glutting already eh? Show off…

    Esther, Dawn, Mark – You’re all barred. It was delicious. Did you not read the bit where a proper foodie person tried it and pronounced it ‘delicious’. Officially delicious.

    Trevor – ‘apart from almonds and oranges’?! Barred also. Nutmeg and cinnamon are lovely, yes, but not in a mid-summer cake! Autumn, winter, yes. Summer, no. Come on… But yes, would be interested to see the recipe.

    Patientgardener – yes, it did have flecks of green in it but you could: a) peel the courgette first or b) use yellow courgette and pretend it was bits of orange. Eh? Eh? You couldnt tell by taste that it was courgette.

    Sheila – Nice. But then Americans do have famously large arses. Just saying.

    Arabella – It is pretty fine bunting, isnt it? I can only take approximately 2m worth of credit though.

    SCS – Not my department, I’m afraid, but watch out for Brussels sprout cake, cominatcha.

  11. Just discovered your blog – Love it, and love the vintage bunting, my sister just hung some outside her house and i have an urge to string it all around the garden shed, but that would be silly right?
    Look forward to reading your posts in the future, best wishes, Cat

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