Courgette Tea Loaf

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I think I’ve mentioned before that I always provide a freshly baked “something” for my ladies to have with a cuppa at sugarcraft class but it is not often they provide me with food. That is exactly what happened last night! I was given two large, homegrown courgettes (zucchini) with instructions to “Do something with them!”.

So when I got home I hit the books and found several recipes for courgette cake and zucchini bread. I have tried to make a courgette cake before but I really didn’t like it as I found it quite dense and tasteless. The recipe I settled on was by Rachel Allen, from her book “Bake”. I liked the look of this recipe because it had plenty of spices added to it and reminded me of a good carrot cake but with courgettes instead of carrots.

I took the liberty of tinkering with the ingredients slightly to suit my palate and the ingredients I had to hand. Rachel’s recipe calls for walnuts but I substituted them for sunflower seeds as I didn’t have any walnuts in stock.

This tea loaf is lovely and moist with the warm, spicy hit of traditional tea loaf. Rachel said her recipe is lovely toasted with a bit of butter and I can safely say I will be trying that in the morning for breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 400g plain flour
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (heaped)
  • 0.5 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 0.25 tsp ground cloves (level)
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 100g Demerara  sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 380g grated courgette (skin and flesh)
  • 75g sunflower seeds

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C /130C fan or gas mark 2
  2. Line 2 loaf tins
  3. Sift together all the dry ingredients into a large bowl
  4. Add the courgettes and seeds
  5. Add the wet ingredients and mix well
  6. Divide the mixture between the 2 tins
  7. Bake for 1hr – 1hr 15min depending on oven and how evenly you divided the mixture.
  8. Allow to cool int he tin for 20-30 min before turning out onto a cooling rack.
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Apple Crumble Cupcakes

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As it is is National Cupcake week here in the UK, I thought I would treat my sugarcraft class to some. I’m not really a fan of cupcakes. I can’t see the point of all that buttercream and I get bored when I’m asked to decorate them.  I can, however, see the point of a really good apple crumble. I’ve always said that if I was on death row my final meal would be apple crumble and custard!

This particular recipe is a bastardization of one by Eric Lanlard and Patrick Cox from their book, “Cox, Cookies and Cake”. I liked the idea of this cake because not only does it feature the flavours of my favourite pud but it also doesn’t have any buttercream topping.

The original recipe calls for 2 Bramley apples but I found the apple flavour a little lacking and dominated by the cinnamon. Having tinkered around with the recipe a little, I think I may have hit apple crumble gold! I tried it out on my class last night and was bombarded with requests for the recipe. So this one is for you, Janice!

 Ingredients

For the crumble topping:

50g plain flour

50g soft brown sugar

0.5tsp ground cinnamon

40g butter

For the cupcakes:

1 large Bramley apple, peeled, cored and diced

1 – 2 eating apple, peeled, cored and diced

1tsp ground cinnamon

0.5tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g butter

200g soft brown sugar

2 free range eggs

350g self-raising flour

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C / 180C fan / gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases
  2. Make the crumble topping by rubbing all the ingredients together. Set to one side for the moment.
  3. Place the Bramley apple into a saucepan with the cinnamon and 0.5Tbs water. Heat gently whilst stirring until the apple becomes soft and mushy.
  4. Allow to cool then push the apple through a fine sieve or ricer.
  5. Weigh a total amount of 250g of pureed apple and eating apple. Ideally you should have equal amounts of each but it really is just to personal taste.
  6. Stir the bicarbonate soda into the apple and leave to rest.
  7. Beat together the butter and sugar.
  8. Beat in the eggs
  9. Fold in the flour and apple sauce.
  10. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases using an ice-cream scoop. This makes between 12-14 cupcakes.
  11. Sprinkle the crumble topping over each cake
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.

These cupcakes are lovely served with a cup of coffee but they are truly gorgeous served warm from the oven with a dollop of custard!

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