I know I'm just a food blogger, standing in front of her audience, asking them to trust her - but honestly, this courgette loaf is delicious. It's sweet and gently spiced, more a cake than a bread, and excellent with a cup of tea. If you grow your own vegetables and are drowning in a sea of courgettes, then this is a wonderful way to use them up.
You will need:
- 200g courgettes (about 3 small or 2 medium courgettes)
- 150ml vegetable oil
- 250g caster sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 350g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease a loaf tin with oil.
- Peel and grate the courgettes, then squeeze as much moisture out of them as you can. Leave them draining in a sieve over the sink while you crack on.
- Whisk together the vegetable oil and sugar until light in colour - 5 minutes in an electric mixer should do it. Gradually whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Sift the flour and spices into a large bowl, then make a well in the middle and tip in the wet ingredients. Stir well to mix them thoroughly - it will be quite a stiff mixture so you'll need to be vigorous.
- Fold in the courgettes, which should loosen the mixture up. Tip it into your loaf tin and bake for around an hour (it may take longer). It's done when a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Leave it in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
This cake tastes even better after a day or two, but if you can't resist them have a warm slice with some butter. It's great on its own but you could add a lemon and sugar glaze for a sharper, sweeter taste - also a good way to rescue it if you've overcooked it and it's a little dry.