Cacao courgette cake (Dairy free)

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This cake is very brownie-like; the grated courgette and ground almond give irresistible moisture, but add more texture to it than a brownie or regular chocolate cake, and give it a fluffiness rather than heaviness. Of course normal cocoa powder can be used, but it really is worth buying raw cacao for it’s rich, earthy, full chocolatey flavour.

I highly recommend finishing it off with a very light sprinkling of sea salt for ultimate taste satisfaction.

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Ingredients:

  • 300g (about 1.5 – 2) courgettes
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 120g ground almonds
  • 70g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g unsweetened cacao powder
  • 75g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional chocolate chunks and/or nuts (hazelnut or walnut work well)

For the glaze

  • 6 dates
  • Tablespoon cacao powder
  • Teaspoon agave syrup
  • Hot water

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Method:

Set oven to 180° and grease and line a 20cm cake tin.

  1. Grate the courgette and place in a clean tea towel or cloth. Ring the cloth tightly to squeeze out the excess liquid from the courgette. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. Separately, whisk the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.
  4. Tip the squeezed courgette into the dry mix and combine well.
  5. Gradually add the wet mix to the dry and fold until well combined. At this stage add in any extras such as your chocolate chunks or nuts.
  6. Scrape into the tin and bake for around 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. dsc_0238
  7. While the cake is cooling you can make the glaze if desired. Put the dates in a small bowl and add just enough boiling water to cover – not too much. Let sit 10 minutes. In a separate bowl place the cacao. Once the dates have soaked, mash them well with a fork until totally soft, to form a smooth paste. Add this to the cacao and add in the agave syrup. Depending on how much water you placed with the dates, you may need to add more water to loosen the consistency.
  8. When the cake is cooled, pour over the glaze and adorn as desired. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt for the perfect finish.

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