Saturday, 17 August 2013

Courgette Chocolate Truffle Cake

There's something very satisfying about incorporating vegetables into something sweet and actually having it taste good. In this recipe, courgette was my vegetable of choice because my brother's garden has been inundated with them, so I thought I'd do them a favour and get rid of some of them. What a chore.

If you haven't heard of using vegetables in cakes before, this recipe might seem quite strange. I was a skeptic at first, but now I'm a complete convert. The courgettes are blitzed before being added to a standard cake batter, and, when cooked, melt away to intensify the chocolatey goodness. You can't taste them in the final product, but you can see some gorgeous (or, slightly scary, to those who don't know what they are) green flecks of skin in every slice. Normally, vegetables are used to replace one or two elements of a recipe, or to substitute a bit of something not very healthy for something that's a bit better for you. Truth be told, I forgot this was what you were supposed to do. I just made a normal cake batter and added a whole blitzed courgette. Whoops. But the extra oils/moisture in the courgette made for a deliciously rich, fudgey, chocolate cake so NO REGRETS.

The layers don't rise as much as a normal cake would, but you're left with a lovely, almost brownie like cake that is super moist that could easily be worked into some sort of dinner party dessert if you wanted.

I sandwiched the two thin layers with some mocha buttercream - a mixture of butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder and ground instant coffee. This paired wonderfully with the dark, rich, moist chocolate cake and made it taste like a proper dessert, rather than a cake. This truffle cake may not be the most impressive thing to look at, but it really does taste wonderful.

Note: my recipe uses small quantities, but that's because I was using small tins (the only ones I could find in the house.) If you want to increase the recipe, increase the ingredients by the weight of any additional eggs you use. An egg weighs roughly 70g, so if you use 3 eggs instead of 2 you need to increase the weight of flour, sugar and butter by 70g, and so on.

Truffle Cake
Makes 2 6 or 8'' layers

2 eggs
140g self raising flour
140g light brown sugar
140g softened butter
40g cocoa powder
1tsp of baking powder
1 courgette, finely grated or chopped in a blender

1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 4. Grease and line 2 sandwich tins. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until just incorporated after each addition.
2. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, alternating with a tablespoon or so of milk, until you get a thick batter. Add the grated courgette and stir.
3. Spread into the lined tins and level out the batter. Bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, this will depend on the temperature of your oven, but for me this was around 35 minutes.
4. Remove the cakes from the tins and leave to cool on a cooling rack. Sandwich the cakes with your desired filling when completely cold.

Keeping your finished cake in the fridge will help it develop a wonderfully truffle-like texture, which is very fudgey and brownie-like, but the cake can also be kept at room temperature for a few days.

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