Ever since the juice detox I have been right off cooking and food in general, but this week it was my turn to host book group. As members of book groups will know, the food and drink is almost as important as the books. I had some fizzy wine already in the fridge, so that was sorted. Also lurking in the fridge were three courgettes.
Knowing that book groupers tend to like food that’s half healthy, half not, I came up with these seeded courgette cakes. The seeds and veg makes it fairly nutritious, and the sugar and spice stops it getting too boring.
Don’t be put off by the thought of courgette in a cake – it’s the same principal as carrot cake and tastes great, especially with the crunchy pumpkin seeds on top. The fairy cake size is good for lunchboxes, and for getting people who don’t like courgettes to eat them. Also good for tricking children into eating more veg. They look like dense cakes but actually taste quite light, and they’re incredibly quick and easy to make. And since courgettes are currently in season, you may be looking for ways to use them up.
125ml sunflower oil
150g caster sugar
225g self raising flour
half tsp bicarbonate of soda
half tsp baking powder
tsp mixed spice
Handful of linseeds
Handful of sunflower seeds
Two handfuls of pumpkin seeds
Cinnamon sugar (optional)
Makes around 15 large muffins or 22 fairy cake size
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Wash the courgettes, cut the ends off each one, and grate coarsely. You can grate by hand, but it’s much quicker in a food processor.
Put the grated courgette into a sieve and squeeze to remoce excess water. Yes this is a bore, but courgettes have a lot of liquid in them and if you don’t do this your cakes will go soggy. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs, oil and sugar.
When well mixed, gently fold in the flour, mixed spice, bicarb and baking powder.
Then fold in the linseeds, sunflower seeds and half the pumpkin seeds (you can use other combos of seeds if you prefer).
Then add the grated courgette and mix well. It will look like you’ve got much more courgette than cake mixture but don’t panic.
Spoon the mixture into your baking cases – either muffin or fairy cake size. You need to fill them well as it’s a dense mixture and won’t rise much.
Sprinke a few pumpkin seeds on top of each cake. If you like you can sprinkle on a little sugar or cinnamon sugar at this stage – this will make the cakes a little more glazed on top.
Bake for 30 minutes until slightly browned.
Feed to oncoming hordes! Book and fizzy wine optional.