I used to be practically chained to my computer. I would either be working on blog stuff, or work stuff, or wasting hours on social media (a veritable time black hole). These days, I spend many hours outdoors, discovering green spaces that have been on my doorstep for over a decade. Having a dog
forces makes you abandon your desk and get moving to such an extent that my legs felt like they would drop off the first 10 days or so after Brutus’ arrival. I was quite shocked to discover I average about 15,000 steps daily after I downloaded the Stepz app. Not sure if this trend will continue after he is a bit more trained and able to go off-lead, but I have to admit that it feels so good to be active. And not active in a ‘I have to exercise today’ way but a more natural, part of your lifestyle, sort of way.
Having said all this, I have to admit that it’s not all wine and roses. Or hugs and puppies. Brutus is totally lovely in very many ways, but sleeping on his own is not one of them. So I have been operating on tiny snippets of sleep, much like I did when the kids were babies. And I am not the sort of person who operates well on 4-5 hours sleep. Gallons of coffee have to be employed. Lots and lots of cake is being called to action, ‘keep her going, if only for one more day’. Honestly, folks, it’s not pretty. Any tips for getting a dog settled enough to sleep on their own much appreciated!
At least THIS cake has courgette (zucchini) in it which in my book practically makes it a health food. I call it a snacking cake. Or, a breakfast cake. An ‘all rounder’ cake, if you will. The thing to consider about adding courgette in any bake, is that it has a high moisture content. So you need to wring some of that moisture out before baking, otherwise you may end up with a very dense cake. You can do this by squeezing the grated courgette in a muslin cloth or just using your hands. You will be rewarded with a deliciously moist (hateful word!) cake with a subtle flavour that keeps really well (unless you eat it all very quickly which tends to be the case).
For the cake
300g | 10.5oz | 2 small courgettes (zucchini), grated
200g | 7oz plain (all purpose) flour
100g | 3.5oz caster sugar
70g | 2.5oz vegetable or coconut oil (melted)
60g | 2oz sweetened desiccated (shredded) coconut
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)
1/8 tsp salt
zest of 1 lemon
100g | 3.5oz icing (powdered) sugar
2 tbsp elderflower cordial
2-3 tbsp lemon juice (or as needed)
fresh elderflowers or lemon zest to decorate
2. Coarsely grate the courgettes using a food processor or box grater. Place in a sieve and sprinkle with the salt. Mix together with your hands and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Use a muslin cloth or your hands to wring out as much moisture as you can.
3. Use a stand or hand mixer to whisk the eggs, sugar and oil until well combined.
4. Add the grated courgette and mix in. Fold in the lemon zest, shredded coconut and coconut extract
5. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Fold in the dry ingredients, making sure there are no dry pockets of flour in the batter.
6. Transfer the batter to your prepared tin and level. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch, coming away from the sides of the tin and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
7. Transfer to a wire rack and carefully turn out. Leave to cool completely.
8. Mix the icing sugar, cordial and lemon juice together in a bowl until you have a fairly thick consistency. If the glaze is too thin add more icing sugar and if it’s too thick add a few more drops lemon juice or water. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and serve.