Four hundred grams of courgettes? You gotta be kidding me! That’s how a friend reacted yesterday when she had the first bite.
I’ve made many courgette cakes and breads but this really has to be the finest I’ve ever made. The cake turned out so moist, light and tasty even critics No 1 and No 2 didn’t fault it. I loved it myself because without any compromise on flavour I managed to sneak in more courgettes and even some oat bran. I also used much less oil and sugar than I usually would in any cake of this size. Saffron really does wonders!
So, as with any other courgette cake I started with grating my veg. Then I ground my saffron with a mortar and pestle and “brewed” it with very hot water to get the maximum colour and flavour. I used 1/4 teaspoon (not filled to the top) ground saffron which is a fraction of a one gram packet. One gram of Persian saffron comes under five pounds so it’s not really expensive.
If you like to know more about saffron read my post How to Use Saffron, the King of Spices.
Oat bran is almost flavourless and looks like sawdust but it adds a lot of nutrients and fiber to the cake. It also improves the texture and makes it very light and airy.
By the way, I used grape seed oil which is a lovely oil with very mild flavour. You can get it from most UK supermarkets. But any vegetable oil, such as extra virgin rapeseed, canola or olive oil will be good too.
We had the cake with some nice shop-bought vanilla custard. Go for the best you can buy or make your own with good quality vanilla pods. The custard makes the cake really divine. Or vanilla ice-cream, even better perhaps…
I said divine. But can food be divine? Well, maybe. If it’s a saffron courgette cake with vanilla custard and all the other good things that go into this one!
I cut my cake in half and put the two pieces together with a couple of tablespoons of the custard, not too much, just enough to moisten the surface of the bottom layer a little. Use a tablespoon of softened (not melted) butter if you are not using custard. Will work the same.
So here is how to make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Line a rectangular 40cm x 25cm x 5cm cake tin with baking paper or non-stick liner. Oil the sides very lightly.