If like me you grow courgettes and as I do find the odd one that has grown to twice (or more) the size that you would have preferred, this is an excellent cake to use those courgettes up. The shredded vegetable adds just the right degree of moistness to the cake and the subtle flavour doesn't compete with the lemon.
|And for the lightest version, make 16 cupcakes.|
300g of caster sugar
300g of grated courgette (weighed after squeezing)
280g of self raising flour
250ml of vegetable oil (I use rapeseed)
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
For the lemon syrup;
80g of icing sugar and the juice of both lemons.
Begin by finely grating the courgette and remove as much liquid out of them as you can by placing them in a clean tea towel and squeezing.
Prepare 2 x 23 centimetre cake tins by lining the tins with baking parchment. Leave the sides unlined and un-greased. Switch the oven on to 180C.
Place the sugar and the thinly pared rind of the lemons in a food processor and process until the rind is fine and has pretty much disappeared into the sugar. I find this method is best for extracting the most flavour from any citrus peel. In a large bowl, combine the flour, flavoured sugar salt and baking powder and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the grated courgette. Whisk together the eggs and the oil and add to the bowl. Working quickly, mix all the ingredients to form an even mix. Divide between the 2 cake tins and place in the hot oven to cook for 35 minutes. A bamboo skewer should come out cleanly when pushed into the center of the cake when fully cooked. While the cakes are baking bring the lemon juice and icing sugar up to a boil and cook for no more than a minute to dissolve the sugar. Before the cakes cool completely, make about 40 little holes all over the surface of each cake using a bamboo skewer, divide the lemon syrup between the 2 cakes, ladling it on with a tablespoon, you should have about 3 tablespoons per cake.
Allow to cool on a cooling rack before turning out. Sandwich together with either whipped cream if you plan on serving all of the cake on the same day, or like me a cream cheese frosting if you plan to serve the cake over a period of 2 or 3 days.
Apart from the fact that I don't like discarding anything when I can find a use for it, using the juice of the lemons having already used the rind to flavour the cakes, gives this cake a really fresh lemon flavour.
If you wanted to use orange in place of lemons, use 1 large orange and fill the cake with a chocolate ganache.