I first read about this cake in the New Zealand gardener “garden diary 2010”. Christchurch gardener Andrea Hawkes had one of her favourite seasonal chocolate cake recipes featured in it with grated courgette. It sounded interesting and such a great way to use up what is always a ridiculously large crop. My sister made it last year and I vowed to convert it to gluten-free so I too could eat it. Here I have also cut the sugar content by a third, with no noticeable difference in flavour or texture, so now the cake could almost be called a health food… if it weren’t for all that chocolate on top!
chocolate courgette cake recipe
This cake does contain butter and yoghurt as we now tolerate these. But if you are strictly dairy-free, try substituting dairy-free margarine and soy yoghurt. Also make sure your chocolate is dairy-free. (Most good quality dark chocolates are) If you eat wheat, you can simply use 2 1/2 cups plain wheat flour in place of the almond meal, brown rice and potato flours. Serves 12.
125g butter, softened
1 cup (200g) light muscovado sugar (or use soft brown sugar)
3/4 cup (75g) ground almonds (almond meal)
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence
1/2 cup (120g) natural plain yoghurt
1 1/4 cup (150g) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (75g) potato starch (known as potato flour in NZ)
1/4 cup (40g) cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 cups (375g) grated courgette (zucchini)
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 170 C/ 338 F. Grease and line a 9 inch/22cm spring form cake tin.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time beating well between additions. Add vanilla, yoghurt and ground almonds and mix well. Sift the dry ingredients and mix in with the grated courgette. Spoon into greased tin and sprinkle with the chopped chocolate. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the centre feels firm and a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Serve as is, or ice with chocolate icing.