Ultimate courgette cake

Ultimate courgette cake

This show stopping cake is utterly gorgeous with courgette flecked sponge, zingy lime curd filling, cream cheese frosting and chopped pistachios to finish...

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Serves: 8

250g self raising flour

250g caster sugar

200ml vegetable oil

150-200g approx (2 smallish) courgettes,finely grated

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 large eggs

100g plump sultanas (optional)

grated zest of a lime

For the lime curd (makes around 1lb):
1 medium sized eggs

2 egg yolks

2 limes, juice and grated zest

150g unsalted butter

250g caster sugar

For the cream cheese frosting:
100g cream cheese

50g softened butter

juice of ½ a lime

150g icing sugar

75g pistachios to decorate

Peel the courgettes (or you could use a yellow variety) if you don't want the cake to be green. I like the colour - it goes so nicely with the pistachios on the top of the cake, but understand that green cake could be off-putting.

  1. Preheat oven to gas 4/160C. Line/grease 2x7" sandwich tins.
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar together until moussey, then add all the other ingredients - I normally add the dry ones first, then the courgettes and the oil. Combine everything (carefully with a spoon, rather than whisking) and pour into cake tins. Bake for approx 35mins, depending on your oven.
  3. While the cake is baking and cooling make the frosting by beating cream cheese, butter, lime juice and icing sugar together. Spread lime curd filling over the bottom half of the cake, sandwich together, then spread a generous amount of frosting over the top and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.

For the lime curd

Slow cooking is the key here, or you will end up with lime flavoured scrambled egg (a delicacy in its own right, but not so tasty as a cake filling). If you don't trust your hob, use a bowl over a simmering pan of water to ensure that the ingredients cook evenly and slowly.

  1. Melt the butter and sugar together first and then combine the other ingredients carefully and keep stirring briskly (I use a wooden spoon) until the mixture starts to thicken. This happens gradually - you may need to test as you would jam by putting a little on a saucer and checking the consistency. Store in a sterilised jar.

Photographs: David Merewether
Recipes Type: Baking