I was so encouraged by your interest in this teaser post as I wasn’t sure if I was “popular enough in blog land” to not irritate my readers with it. So thank you for your patience. This recipe for this cake comes out of Cake Days by the Hummingbird Bakery and is for:
Courgette, Walnut and Cinammon Layer Cake
3 large eggs
300ml sunflower oil
300g brown sugar
2.5ml vanilla essence
300g plain flour
5ml baking powder
5ml bicarbonate of soda
10ml ground cinammon
5ml mixed spice (or 2.5ml each of ground ginger and nutmeg)
300g peeled and grated courgette (baby marrow)
100g roughly chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius and prepare 3 sandwich tins (only 2 tins will fit into my oven at the same time so I only used 2). I also ran out of oil and topped up my measure of sunflower oil with olive oil (you could also use melted butter if you run out).
In a freestanding mixer with the paddle/k-beater attachment (if possible but the regular beaters will work too) mix together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla essence until well combined.
Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the ground spices. I couldn’t find my ground nutmeg so I added the ginger but included 5ml mixed spice too. Use your discretion around the spices and use what you would prefer. It is a beautifully spiced cake that is decadent but not too sweet thanks to these spices.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in 3 batches while the mixer is still running. Make sure your mixer is set to its lowest setting so that the flour doesn’t puff out everywhere. The mixture will be quite dry at this point but don’t worry, the marrows will sort it out for you.
Add the grated baby marrow and walnuts and mix well.
Divide the mixture between the pans and make for 35-40 minutes until golden on top and springs back when you poke it gently. Since there are veggies in this cake use a toothpick to check if it is cooked through. I had to add about 10 minutes extra to the cooking time to make sure it wasn’t still wet inside. Allow cakes to cool in tins for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling make the frosting:
240g soft butter
7.5ml ground cinammon (plus another 5ml for dusting)
750g sifted icing sugar
75g plain greek (or homemade) yogurt
Mix together butter, cinammon and icing sugar using your freestanding mixer. Slowly add the yogurt while the mixer is still running. Once incorporated increase the speed of the mixer and mix until fluffy. Be careful not to overmix or the frosting will become runny again.
On a serving plate or cake stand, sandwich the cake layers together using a generous amount of frosting and top with remaining frosting. Dust with remaining cinammon using a tea strainer and gently tap the cinammon through while moving over the top of the cake. If you have a stencil, put the stencil on top of the cake first before dusting with cinammon.
The consensus on the cake was “decadent but not too sweet”, “the cinammon is good for blood pressure” and “lovely and moist but still light”. One of the reasons I had to keep the ingredients a secret is that my sister is very wary of green veg and she may of said no thank you if she new it had baby marrow in it. She didn’t even guess (that she let on) and really enjoyed the cake.
It’s my mom’s 70th birthday tomorrow and my sister has been frantically planning a few suprises in order to make it extra special and memorable. Obviously I would need to make a cake but finding one special enough was tricky. Since we will be eating it after we dine at the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice it didn’t make sense to make something super decadent as that’s not really what my mom prefers and no matter how much effort goes into something like a chocolate cake, it still is…a chocolate cake.
After pouring over the few recipe books I have, I found something that would end off the night perfectly and isn’t overly sweet. It definitely falls into the decadent catergory but I think my mom will love it.
Since both my mom and sister read this blog and I don’t want to spoil the suprise too much, I will leave you with a picture for today and I will share the recipe with you on Saturday morning. It is a light cinnamon cake filled with walnuts and other suprises