Years ago, an American friend of my parents used to make this exotic creation and I absolutely loved it. It was long before zucchinis (or courgettes as we know them on this side of the pond) were freely available so it was a rare and treasured treat. If you told somebody you were going to make a cake with courgettes, they'd give you a very strange look, shake their head and wander off wondering what the world had come to. Indeed.
I made this for the very first time yesterday because Little Sis brought me home some huge organic straight out of the garden courgettes from her holiday in Spain. Actually, she told me down the phone that they were aubergines, which got me all excited at the prospect of Iman Bayildi or Aubergine Parmigiana. But my sister is blonde and got confused - they were actually courgettes. Time for Plan B. Most of this was brought to work today and I was rather hesitant about how it would be greeted. Fear not, the savages scoffed the lot, even those who profess not to like "those green yokes". Success!
375g Plain Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
235ml Vegetable Oil
400g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
225g Zucchini, grated
100g Chopped Roasted Hazelnuts
Preheat your oven to 170c/Gas Mark 4 & line a large cake tin (I used a 9 inch square tin) with baking paper.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarb & cinnamon together in a bowl.
Beat the eggs, oil, sugar & vanilla together until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients & mix well.
Stir in the zucchini & hazelnuts and pour the mixture into the tin.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Slice and serve.