Courgette, Lemon and Lime Birthday Cake

CourgetteBdayCake-1It was my friend Becky’s birthday the other day and when I was going through my receipe collection to look for a birthday cake I could make for her, I came accross this little beauty here, which is the courgette cake from Nigella’s Domestic Goddess book.

Courgette cakes are always a favourite of mine as they usually come out moist and light, which is why I already posted a receipe for another courgette cake here.

This one is a more ‘pimped up’ version of the previous courgette cake though – instead of a simple lemon glaze, it is topped with a cream cheese and lime icing and the two tiers of the courgette sponge are filled with a tangy lemon curd.

It was tasty and  popular all around – and also very suitable for Becky, who is a vegetarian and keen gardener, growing her own vegetables too. But you don’t have to be either to enjoy it just as much…

You will need:

  • 2x 18-21cm sandwich tins
  • 250g courgettes (2-3), weighed before grating
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 jar of good quality lemon curd
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 100g icing sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2-3 Tbsp chopped pistachios

Grease and line the baking tins and preheat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180 degrees Celsius.

Grate the courgettes, with their skin on, over a sieve and squeeze out some of their moisture, then set the sieve aside over a sink to remove the excess water.

Combine the flour, bicarb of soda and baking powder in one bowl. In another, bigger bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil and sugar until creamy, then add the flour mix and whisk again until well combined.

Fold in the grated courgette and pour the mixture in the prepared cake tins.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the cakes are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Leave the cakes in their tins for about 5 minutes before turning them out on to a wire rack to cool down completely.

For the filling, mix the fresh lime juice into the lemon curd (this is for an extra tangy taste but don’t over do it with the juice so lemon curd doesn’t become too runny!) and spread it on one of the cakes, sandwiching the other one on top.

For the icing, whisk the cream cheese until light and fluffy, then add the icing sugar and slowly whisk again until combined. Now add the lime juice and whisk gently once more.

Spread the icing over the assembled cake and sprinkle it with some chopped pistachios, then leave to set in a the fridge for about an hour – but bring it back to room temperature before tucking in!

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