Continuing my mini-series of vegetable bakes, using the fab produce sent to me by Riverford Home Delivery Cornwall, is a recipe using one of my favourite vegetables, courgettes.
I cook with courgettes in my savoury meals usually once a week, but I’ve only ever used them once for baking, in a fairly basic chocolate cake.
When I received the box of veg from Riverford (full selection of veg above!), I was excited to have the chance to try something a little more adventurous, and pretty quickly an idea came into my head that just wouldn’t go away – courgette mojito cake.
I think my thought process started with pairing courgettes and lime, having seen a few recipes for lemon courgette cakes. Turning it into a mojito cake was jointly inspired by the fact that mojito cake has been on my to-bake list for a very long time, and by the fact that I might have drank one or two of the cocktails while on my travels and was having slight withdrawal symptoms…
I did a bit of research, and decided to combine two different recipes – a courgette and lime sponge on the River Cottage website, and the delicious sounding sugar syrup used in Lorraine Pascale’s mojito cake, from her book Baking Made Easy.
I wanted it to be easily shareable, so I made a flatter rectangular cake rather than a tall round cake, splitting it into two thin layers to soak with the sugar syrup and sandwich with a lime, rum and mint buttercream.
The cake turned out exactly as I had hoped – light zesty sponge with a real flavour of mojito, rather than just being lime and mint. It went down pretty well with everyone who tried it, and it’s a fabulously summery cake so I think I will definitely have to make it again!
This cake is also perfectly timed to enter into June’s Baking with Spirit challenge, hosted by Cake of the Week. The challenge was to create something based on a cocktail, using spirits you already had in the house – I’m currently back living at my dad’s house, and one of the benefits of this is an exceptionally well-stocked alcohol cupboard with Bacardi among the many spirits available!
- 250g courgettes
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- zest ad juice of 1 lime
- 60ml vegetable oil
- 60ml fat free natural yoghurt
- 225g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
For the sugar syrup:
- 40ml white rum
- 20ml water
- 75g light brown sugar
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- half a bunch mint leaves
For the buttercream:
- 50g butter
- 150g icing sugar
- zest and juice 1 lime
- 3-4 mint leaves, very finely shredded
- 1-2 tsp white rum
For the cake, start by grating the courgettes finely – it takes ages – then squeeze out any excess moisture. Whisk the eggs and sugar until trebled in volume, then add in the oil, yoghurt, lime zest and juice and whisk to combine. Sift together the flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture, then pour into a greased and lined 8×12″ rectangle tin. Bake at 170 degrees (fan oven) for around 30 minutes, or until golden and springy.
While the cake is cooking, make the sugar syrup. Add the rum, water, sugar and lime juice to a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and stir until the liquid thickens into a syrup, then remove from the heat, add the lime zest and mint leaves and leave to infuse.
For the buttercream, beat the butter to soften then add 50g of the icing sugar and beat until no lumps remain. Add the lime zest and juice, finely shredded mint and 1 tsp rum and the rest of the icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Taste and add more rum if necessary, or more icing sugar if it needs thickening.
Once the cakes are cool, use a sharp bread knife to slice through the sponge horizontally. Brush the cut side of the bottom layer with sugar syrup, and the cut side of the top layer with more rum, if you like. I like. Spread the buttercream over the bottom layer, then place the second layer back on top.
Cut into squares and serve, on a sunny day with a long glass of refreshing mojito on the side!