I can’t believe how fast the last few weeks have gone. I visited my parents at Easter, met up with the lovely Claire from Claire’s Cake Bake, been back in work 2 weeks, wondered if my sister was ever going to get back from New Zealand…oh and resigned from my job. I’m leaving to become a freelance food geek specializing in kid’s cookery & Primary Curriculum; something I’m very excited about. It all came to me, randomly, during a Hairy Biker’s episode that featured a Food Historian. Fed up of waiting for the perfect job to come to me I decided to create my dream job and take it to the people. I just pray I manage to pull it off or we’ll be back to eating Value beans on toast before long. Good sign is that I already have clients lined up even before I’m officially trading. Most of my free time has been spent business planning and developing recipes to try with my pupils. With Jamie Oliver investing his own money to improve Food Education, I think he needs to call me…
With everything going on I’m cooking lots of quick simple meals with the odd cake to keep us going. I’m also working on quite a few recipes to make them more suitable for teaching. This recipe probably isn’t one of these recipes, but it is full of hidden vegetables!
After speaking to mum about my Mini Carrot Cakes she wondered how courgettes and pistachio would work together. I couldn’t see why it wouldn’t work as courgettes are often used in cakes not really for the taste, but because they give a fantastic moistness to the cake. Although they are not in season yet, as any grow-your-owner knows these vegetables have a habit of taking over the garden and there is only so much courgette you can eat in more traditional form. This I think is quite an edible alternative.
One thing I did find out when making this cake is that it works out cheaper to buy pistachios out of their shells. I spent far too long shelling 150g of pistachios only to be left with 75g of actual nuts. The resulting cake has beautiful green flecks throughout it due to the courgette & pistachio nuts. To complement this I grated lime zest into the icing. This cake keeps well in a tin for a few days.
Courgette & Pistachio Cake with Lime Cheesecake Icing
Makes 1x 2lb loaf
- 140ml vegetable oil or rapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing
- 2 eggs
- 200g muscovado sugar
- 300g grated courgettes, (Don’t bother peeling them. I blitz them in the food processor)
- 100g raisins
- 70g unsalted pistachios, chopped (optional)
- 180g self-raising flour
- tiny pinch of salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg or mace ( I like mace as it has a hint of citrus)
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 50g cream cheese, chilled (full fat works best)
- 50g butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 lime, zest only