I’m currently abroad at the moment in sunny Spain and have been thinking of some new, fresh ideas for baking whilst onholiday. I know that holidays are meant to be a time for relaxing and sipping cocktails by the pool, however I always love to take my baking where ever I go. We are in our studio apartment on the south coast of Spain and I have all the facilities I need to make a delicious and refreshing cake, which can be enjoyed at around 4/5pm when you need a little sweetness to keep you going through till dinner. Now I could not think of anything worse than a heavy cake with cream, when away in a hot country, not only because of the heat and the risk of the cream going sour or melting, but also as it is hot, I always fancy a light sponge with a refreshing zing to it with my cup of tea later on in the day.
I have been to numerous bakeries in Spain to have a look at what they have to offer, and they have the usual boring vanilla sponge or the lemon, and I am not looking for a recipe which is run of the mill. So I decided to think up something which is not only innovative but also incorporates traditional flavors.
I raided my fridge this afternoon and all I had was some Limes and Courgettes. Do not ask me why I only have those items in my fridge as the answer I will give you is… I’m on frikin holiday!
Right… Down to business.
Lime and Courgette Cake – sounds vile but is seriously the most delicious cake you will ever taste and not only that, you will want to make it all year round, not only for when you are on holiday.
– 125g of Veg Oil
– 3 Medium free range organic eggs.
– 150g Caster Sugar
– 250g Courgettes approx 2 to3 (should be weighed before grating).
– 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
– 1 ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
– 225g Plain Flour
– 3 Limes
– 100g Caster Sugar1 lime Juiced
– 400g Icing Sugar
– 150g Unsalted Butter
– 200g Cream Cheese
– 1 Lime (juiced)
– A handful of chopped pistachio nuts (optional) decoration purposes only.
To begin with pre-heat your oven to 180 Degrees Celsius and grease a cake tin. This amount of ingredients will usually feed up to 12 people so you will need to grease a 12’’ Cake tin. Set it aside and grab a large clean bowl and place your oil and caster sugar into the bowl and mix well until all the oil has been taken up into the sugar. Then add your eggs one at a time ensuring that you mix well between each addition. Then, add the juice of three limes into your liquid mix and set aside. Get another clean bowl and add your dry ingredients which include your flour, bicarb and baking powder. Mix these well with a wooden spoon and set aside again. Take your 2-3 Courgettes and grate them finely. You do not want them too fine as it always nice to add some texture to your sponge. I like to grate them like I would cheese, so that it adds a bite to the cake. Then, add your grated Courgettes into your liquid mix which you have previously set aside and stir well. Then all that is left is to add your liquid mix to your dry mix. I would do this a 1/3 at a time ensuring that with each addition, the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Pour your mixture into the cake tin and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes providing ample time to make your drizzle. The drizzle is so simple to make all you need is a pan and a hob. Place your sugar into a pan and leave it on a medium heat. Do not increase the heat as it will cause the sugar to burn and burnt sugar is not a great taste unless it is on a toffee apple. As soon as you see the sugar beginning to melt this is the perfect time for you to lower the heat and add in the lime juice, stir until all the sugar has been dissolved and you have a clear liquid. Turn off the heat and place it on a cooling rack.
By now the cake should be ready so to check, place a skewer into the centre of the cake and withdraw it, if there is no cake residue on the skewer then the cake is ready. Leave the cake to stand outside of the oven for 10 minutes and then take it out of the cake tin and leave it to cool fully on a wire cooling rack.
Once your cake is cool, take a skewer and make holes in your cake all over, some going through the entire height of the cake, and some only going through to the centre of the cake. Then take your cool drizzle and pour it over the cake. These holes provide the necessary channels through the cake which gives the cake is oozey stickiness which is the best bit of a citrus cake.
Finally, onto the icing; this is very simple all you need to do is whack the butter into a bowl and mix for up to 5/6 minutes until the butter has turned from its usual yellow colour to a nice creamy light white colour. Then, bit by bit, you need to add the icing sugar. If you add the icing sugar all in one go, as soon as you put on the whisk, a plume of white icing will fill the room quicker than you can turn the mixer off, so the best way to do it is by adding the icing sugar bit by bit.
Once all the icing sugar has been incorporated add in the cream cheese and lime juice and there you go… A delicious cream cheese butter cream to go with your delicious Lime and Courgette cake. Normally what I do is cut the cake horizontally, creating two halves, then place the butter cream in the centre and sandwich the cake together. Finally I like to add some more butter cream to the top of your cake and all round the outside.
This is a delicious alternative to heavy cream cakes and it is great to have a cup of tea after a long hard sweat by the pool.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me and I will try and help as best I can. Enjoy! xxx