Category: cake

Mini Courgette Cakes

Carrot cake is a common coffee shop favourite up and down the U.K. Everyone seems to have accepted that carrots can be enjoyed in cake form. And yet when I mention courgette cake I often get some funny looks. But why should it be any different? It’s just another root vegetable after all. 

My family have been enjoying courgette cake for a few years now so this is a tried and tested, fool proof recipe! However in the past I have always made it in a bunt tin and this weekend I decided to use a new mini sandwich tin with individual loose bottoms. 

 
Ingredients 
150ml vegetable oil
250g self raising flour
50g  pistachios, roughly chopped plus extra for decoration
3 eggs
175g caster sugar
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
225g courgette, grated
125g icing sugar
 
Method 
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease the tin well (very important) and lightly dust with flour – tap out the excess. 
2. Chop the pistachios or pulse in a food processor and grate the courgettes. 
3. Whisk oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and stir well to combine. Finally, add the grated courgette and pistachios. 
4. Spoon the mixture into the individual tin moulds and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 
I filled the moulds to the very top so when they were baked it created cakes with domed tops, similar to muffins. If I was to make mini Victoria sponges, or cakes which traditionally have a flatter top, then I would only half fill the moulds. 
5. Once cooled remove the cakes from the tin. Then drizzle icing over each cake and sprinkle with chopped pistachios while the icing is still wet. 
 

I have been thinking about what other root vegetables could be incorporated into baking. Obviously ginger cake is another common flavour and beetroot goes really well in chocolate brownies. I wonder what sweet potato or parsnip would taste like in a cake? Maybe that’s one for a future experimental bake!

On another note, The Great British Bake off has started again – my TV highlight of the year! Crazy to think I almost applied to be on this season. After the first episode I’ve decided that Richard is my favourite, I think he is going to do very well! I’m hoping I’ll get some inspiration from the Bake Off for some future bakes so stay tuned!

Hannah xx

Revani

 

I loved my family summer holidays when I was growing up. For many years we went to Greece and I have really happy memories from these holidays – we all learnt to waterski, I began scuba diving and we experienced a large earthquake! Greece is such a beautiful country, with some amazing food. So this week I decided to make a Greek cake called Revani. This is a moist and delicious semolina cake flavoured with orange and sweetened with a syrup flavoured with lemon and vanilla pods. 
 
To make the cake you will need to following ingredients:
 
 
5 eggs, separated 
100g caster sugar
50g plain sugar
100g  semolina
pinch of salt
1 orange, zest
50g unsalted butter, melted
50g no-peel marmalade 
 
For the syrup:
250g caster sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon, zest
vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
 
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 24cm spring form cake tin and line the sides and base with baking parchment. 
2. Beat the egg yolks and caster sugar in a mixer until light and creamy. While the machine is running on a low speed, add the flour & semolina followed by the salt, orange zest, melted butter and marmalade. Beat until smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks and gently fold into the batter in 3 additions being careful not to knock the air out. 
4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. 
5. While the cake is in the oven, prepare the syrup – put all of the ingredients, including the vanilla pods, in a small saucepan with 300 ml water and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat and summer gently for 10 mins. The syrup will thicken slightly but won’t be very thick. Leave to cool slightly. 

 

6. While the cake is still warm and in its tin, cut into triangles. Strain the syrup, removing the vanilla pods, and slowly pour over the cake. 
7. Leave to cool and serve with Greek yoghurt and chopped pistachios. 

The photos do not do this cake justice at all! It was beautifully moist and sticky from the sweet syrup with a subtle orange flavour from the cake. I loved the texture of the semolina, it’s so different to a fluffy flour cake. It’s amazing how smells or tastes can remind you of happy memories. I’m positive they served this desert in the hotel restaurant all those years ago because the taste was very familiar and immediately transported me back to my Greek holidays.

 
I asked two of my Greek friends if they would like to try it and give me their opinion, since they know what real Greek Revani should taste like. I was a little nervous but they loved it and said it was exactly how it should be! So it was a successful first attempt at Greek baking – my next challenge will be to make baklava. 
 
Hannah xx